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Asahi Glass Fine: Taiwan unit chief outlines plans

According to Shoji Atsuta, president of Asahi Glass Fine Techno Taiwan, his company“s planned annual capacity of three million square metres of glass sheets for thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal di…

According to Shoji Atsuta, president of Asahi Glass Fine Techno Taiwan, his company“s planned annual capacity of three million square metres of glass sheets for thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal displays (TFT-LCDs) may not be enough to meet demand. Asahi Glass Fine Techno Taiwan is 100%-owned by Asahi Glass of Japan. The firm recently began construction in Taiwan of a T$ 9 billion plant that will provide Asahi Glass Fine“s local clients with glass sheets for use in TFT-LCDs. Atsuta said that the plant, Asahi“s first overseas TFT-LCD glass sheet plant, is expected to initially begin operations in October 2001 with two production lines that will polish the glass sheets. Asahi Glass Fine hopes to raise its global market share of TFT-LCD glass sheets to 50% by 2002 from the current 30%, said Danny Chen, director in administration at Asahi Glass Fine. The company is forecasting revenues of JPY 10 billion in 2002, and JPY 30 billion in 2006. with profits of JPY 1.5 billion in 2002, and JPY 4.5 billion in 2006. Until the Taiwan unit“s glass furnace comes on stream in 2003, raw glass will be imported from Japan. Five production lines are expected to be operating when the plant is fully completed in 2005. Since Taiwan“s focus is on notebooks, added Atsuta, the firm will initially focus on producing thinner, lighter glass sheets that allow more panels to be cut from one glass plate.

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