AGC Flat Glass: China float glass line, Japan PDP conversion

AGC Flat Glass, an in-house company of Asahi Glass, the world“s leading flat glass producer, is to invest in a green field float production line in Suzhou, China, in the Shanghai region. The float li…

AGC Flat Glass, an in-house company of Asahi Glass, the world“s leading flat glass producer, is to invest in a green field float production line in Suzhou, China, in the Shanghai region. The float line, with a capacity of 700 tonnes/day, will produce high quality glass mainly for the automotive industries. The total amount of the investment will be less than USD 100 million. In addition, AGC will convert one of its existing float lines in Aichi, Japan, to produce float glass for Plasma Display Panels (PDF) instead of automotive glass. This float line, with a capacity of 400 tonnes/day, will be converted in May 2004. The other Aichi float line of 700 tonnes/day will remain focused on automotive glass. Part of the output of the Shanghai float line will be consumed in China by AGC Automotive Qinhuangdao (Asahi Glass automotive processing plant) or by independent automotive glass processors, while the rest will be exported to Japan, to the AGC Aichi factory. The activities will be operational in the 2Q of 2006. Sales are forecast to reach USD 52 million by 2010. Luc Willame, President of AGC Flat Glass comments: “This investment confirms the AGC Flat Glass strategy of expansion in emerging countries with rapid growth potential for glass in commercial buildings and the automotive sector. China and Russia, where we are currently investing, will definitely give us an edge on the glass market. Thanks to AGC“s unique position in automotive and display glass technologies, we are able to switch the technologies of existing production facilities in order to produce and develop added-value products in mature markets while capturing growth in fast growing markets.” AGC Flat Glass already operates one float line in China, in Dalian.