Asahi Glass Plans Glass Capacity Expansion

Marketwatch: Asahi shut down a 250K m2 power plant site in 2003 and is in the process of finding ways to use that site to expand its glass capacity. Asahi will need to lease the land from Kansai Electric if the company decides to go foward with expansion plans. It takes roughly 6 months to go from ground-breaking to mass production of glass for LCDs, which is a lot shorter than the roughly 1 year it takes for a LCD fab to go from nothing to producing LCDs. Because of the shorter time it takes to bring up glass plants, most glass suppliers like Asahi, NHT and Corning can make sure that there is a good balance between supply and demand. That is, of course, if everything goes to plan. Currently, there is a stockpile of LCD panels in inventory and prices are expected to fall quickly to blow inventory out. Also, LCD suppliers like AUO and LPL have announced that Q2 results will be poor with reduced production numbers. A great time for consumers to grab those hot deals!

Update: The plant that Asahi was considering to build was not a LCD plant but was a PDP plant. The plant will increase capacity by 50% and is located in Osaka. Asahi is expected to invest about 30 billion yen.

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