Taiwan Glass Eyes Brighter Future After Aggressive Expansions

After intensive production-capacity expansions in Taiwan and China, the number of Taiwan Glass Ind. Co. (TGI)`s glass-manufacturing furnaces will rise to 48 from 36, according to president and CEO P.S.

Lin, adding the maker has annual capacity of some 3.06 million tons of glass, including 2.56 million tons for conventional float flat glass.

In the past three years, the president and CEO said, the TGI Group has poured more than NT$20 billion (US$666.7 million) into deployment of electronic-grade fiberglass, super-thin touch glass, low-E (emissivity) glass (with vacuum sputtering coating layer), photovoltaic glass etc. in Taiwan and China.

Lin claimed that TGI`s major business development strategy is to further upgrade added- values of glass manufacturing and processing, for profit margins of traditional glass has decreased and supply of such products in China has outpaced demand. With the elements such as "green and low-carbon", "energy-generating", "electronic-grade" and "composite material", Lin said, the value of glass products will be further upgraded.

TGI operates six production lines in Taiwan and China (annual capacity of 20.8 million square meters) for the low-E glass, a high-performance low-emissivity glazing based on technologies from Applied Films Group of the U.S. and Von Ardenne of Germany. After the expansion projects, Lin added, TGI would own 10 such production lines with annual capacity of 33.8 million square meters, a 62.5% increase, to make the company the world`s third-largest manufacturer of such products.

Lin said that TGI`s low-Fe patterned solar glass can be used to cover solar module with low iron, high transmittance, consistent gauge, easy tempering, low self-cracking, efflorescence resistance, impact resistance. Currently, the transmittance of such product has reached 94.6%, Lin said. After expansion, TGI would triple capacity of 79,000 tons from two lines, he added.

TGI is also constructing a new production line for solar mirrors, a type of reflector used in solar-energy generation systems, with annual capacity of 36,700 tons. In addition, Lin stressed, TGI also plans to construct new factories in Chengdu (Sichuang Province) and Bengbu (Anhui Province) for making glass-fiber fabric and glass fibers, with targeted annual capacity of 100,000 tons; as well as new facilities in Taiwan and Huaian (Jiangsu Province) for making super-thin touch glass.

(by Quincy Liang)

600450 Taiwan Glass Eyes Brighter Future After Aggressive Expansions glassonweb.com

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