Japan: firms allocate JPY 300 billion to boost LCD panel output

Japanese materials manufacturers are moving to increase output of materials for LCD panels to meet growing demand, with the dozen or so major companies having allocated a total of more than JPY 300 bi…

Japanese materials manufacturers are moving to increase output of materials for LCD panels to meet growing demand, with the dozen or so major companies having allocated a total of more than JPY 300 billion for capital investments through fiscal 2009. According to US market research firm DisplaySearch, the global LCD television market is projected to grow from more than 70 million units in 2007 to over 140 million units, or roughly JPY 10 trillion in value terms, by 2011. The LCD materials market, now estimated at just over JPY 3 trillion, is expected to surpass JPY 5 trillion by 2011. Sharp Corp. aims to increase capacity at its Kameyama Plant No. 2 in Mie Prefecture by 50% in July 2008. In addition, it is joining with Sony Corp. to open an advanced LCD panel factory in Osaka Prefecture in fiscal 2009. Dai Nippon Printing and Toppan Printing Co. each plan to spend more than JPY 40 billion to build facilities next to this planned Osaka complex. Nippon Electric Glass Co. has earmarked JPY 50 billion for investments in Japan and elsewhere to boost its output capacity for LCD glass substrates by 15%. In autumn 2008, it will spend JPY 40 billion to install a glass-melting furnace at its Shiga Prefecture plant. It also plans to spend a total of JPY 10 billion to strengthen operations at overseas factories in South Korea, China and elsewhere. The firm“s investment over the past year on LCD glass substrates has totaled about JPY 100 billion. After the latest expansion is completed, production capacity will be about 60% higher than in spring 2007.