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Central Glass to double capital investment

Japan“s Central Glass is to double its capital investment in fiscal 2004 from the previous year to JPY 20 billion (USD 182 million). The company will invest half of the sum in maintenance and renewal…

Japan“s Central Glass is to double its capital investment in fiscal 2004 from the previous year to JPY 20 billion (USD 182 million). The company will invest half of the sum in maintenance and renewal projects. The remaining JPY 10 billion will be invested in expansion, of which JPY 8 billion will go into fine chemicals, including those for specialty glass, and JPY 2 billion will be used as capital investment for R&D in new fields. In terms of specific projects, in the field of chemical products the company will double capacity of nitrogen trifluoride (NF3), which is used for cleaning semiconductors and liquid crystal displays. It plans to raise capacity at its plant at Ube (north east Japan) from the current level of 300 tonnes/year to 600 tonnes/year, with the work to be completed in autumn 2005. By the end of 2004 it also plans to double capacity for trifluoromethanesulfonic acid (CF3SO3H), which is used as a strong acid catalyst. The company also intends to establish a testing facility for next-generation film-forming materials. In specialty glass, Central Glass will set up a new processing facility in Ube for high-strain-point glass used to make substrates for PDPs. This processing facility will cut glass also manufactured in Ube, and will handle large-format float glass, whereas the sample shipments processed at Matsuzaka are for small sizes. It hopes to complete the facility by the year end and start launching products for the PDP market. Central Glass has started along the road to operational profitability by withdrawing from the PVC business and reorganizing distribution in its general-purpose glass business. The company is also working to improve its financial standing, with plans to cut back interest-bearing debt from JPY 71.7 billion to JPY 49 billion over three years.

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