Corning announced on February 7, that the board of directors approved a capital expenditure plan of US$160 million to expand its G8 LCD glass substrate manufacturing capacity in Shizuoka, Japan. The approved CAPEX will be incurred from now until mid-2008, which would be the timeframe in which expanded G8 production will be increased. This is in response to growing demands for LCD TVs that Sharp is experiencing at its G8 LCD fab. In 2006, Sharp and Corning signed a long term supply agreement making Corning the majority glass substrate supplier for Sharp’s G8 LCD fab located in Mie Prefecture. Sharp’s G8 LCD fab has a dimension of 2160 x 2460 mm and is currently the largest LCD fab in operation. Corning also stated that it has beginning development of G9 and larger LCD glass substrates. The Shizuoka-based facility will be manufacturing Corning’s EAGLE XG glass, which is the first LCD substrate that contains no heavy metals and halides. EAGLE XG is touted to be an environmentally friendly glass substrate and with higher glass purity will allow for more stringent quality to result in improved yields at LCD manufacturers. Corning forecasted worldwide glass demand to grow by at least 400 million square feet in 2007 and reach a total of 1.6 billion square feet.
[tags]Corning, LCD Glass, G8, Sharp[/tags]