Hoya invests USD 170 million to boost Singapore plant

Japan“s Hoya Corp. is to boost production capacity at its Singapore glass magnetic facility by adding over 100 staff and investing JPY 12 billion (USD 170.4 million).
Hoya, which makes glass disks t…

Japan“s Hoya Corp. is to boost production capacity at its Singapore glass magnetic facility by adding over 100 staff and investing JPY 12 billion (USD 170.4 million). Hoya, which makes glass disks that store data in hard drives, including portable music players and notebook computers, said the expansion is needed to meet a boom in demand. Production capacity will be doubled at the Singapore subsidiary, Hoya Magnetics (Singapore) and its workforce, now at nearly 600, will also increase by 20% to 30% over the next two years. Hoya has so far invested about USD 290 million in its Singapore plant in Tuas, which is working at full capacity. Managing director Hisao Shirasugi said, “Singapore is the only location where we can find both the infrastructure and “soft“ conditions rolled into one”. “Singapore provides an integrated logistics network which enables us to reach our customers in other parts of the world effectively. The availability of a skilled workforce and support from the government…made the decision process easy too”. Mr Teo Ming Kian, the chairman of the Economic Development Board, welcomed Hoya“s new investment, noting that it will bring Singapore closer to becoming a key manufacturing centre for hard-disk media. Singapore has a 25% market share of the global disk media industry. Its manufacturing capacity is expected to double by 2008. Some industry players believe demand for hard-disk media will continue to increase at an annual rate of 15% or more, driven by worldwide demand for consumer electronics products. Other magnetic disk makers include Japan“s Showa Denko (SDK) and United States giant Seagate. Hoya“s new investment follows SDK“s recent decision to set up a second Singapore plant to cope with demand. In December 2005, the firm broke ground on a JPY 10 billion facility at a 68,000 sq m site in Tuas. It will produce both aluminium and glass-substrate media. SDK said it will add a further 600 employees when the new plant starts operations in November 2006, bringing its total workforce in Singapore to 1,400.