Saint-Gobain Enters the PDP (Plasma Display Panel) Glass Market Through a First Investment in South Korea

Saint-Gobain's Flat Glass Sector (Saint-Gobain Vitrage) has decided to expand into the booming glass market for flat TV panels, through the production of glass for PDP (Plasma Display Panel).

This technology aims at top-of-the-range large dimension screens.

PDP Glass will be manufactured by DISPLAY GLASS ALLIANCE, a joint-venture created to this effect between Saint-Gobain Vitrage (which owns 30 %), the Japanese glassmaker Central Glass (40 %) - which already partners Saint-Gobain Vitrage in the manufacture of Automotive Glass in Japan - and the Korean glassmaker Hankuk Glass Industries (Hanglas) (30 %) - of which Saint-Gobain Vitrage is the majority shareholder.

The joint venture's first processing plant will be built on the Ochang site, located 100 km from Seoul (Korea). The primary float glass to be processed will initially come from a Central Glass facility located in Ube (Japan), and subsequently from a specialized facility located in Korea.

Production should begin in early 2006.

By combining the skills and know-how of Central Glass, HGI and Saint-Gobain, the joint venture will be able to leverage the technologies, products and customer base that should ensure its technical, commercial and financial success.

Employing around 37,000 people, Saint-Gobain's Flat Glass Sector (Saint-Gobain Vitrage) generated sales close to EUR4.4 billion in 2004. Saint-Gobain Vitrage is currently present in 39 countries and ranks number two worldwide and number one in Europe in the flat glass market.

Saint-Gobain Vitrage is organized according to the markets it serves. Its businesses include: Saint-Gobain Glass, which specializes in basic glass products; the Saint-Gobain Glass Solutions network, which processes and distributes glass destined for the architectural and decoration markets; Saint-Gobain Sekurit, the leading supplier of glass to the automotive and transport markets; and finally Saint-Gobain Specialties, which supplies glass products to the domestic appliances, electronics and photovoltaic industries, but also to the industrial and commercial equipment industries.

600450 Saint-Gobain Enters the PDP (Plasma Display Panel) Glass Market Through a First Investment in South Korea

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