Sibelco to build first Japanese plant

Belgian firm SCR-Sibelco NV, the global leader for silica used in flat-panel glass substrates, intends to build a plant in Japan“s Aichi Prefecture with an output capacity equivalent to 70% of domest…

Belgian firm SCR-Sibelco NV, the global leader for silica used in flat-panel glass substrates, intends to build a plant in Japan“s Aichi Prefecture with an output capacity equivalent to 70% of domestic demand, The Nikkei reported on 20 December 2008. Singaporean subsidiary Sibelco Asia Pte. is working with Japanese logistics firm Yura Kaiun Co. to establish a new company in Japan. This 70-30 joint venture has been capitalized at JPY 400 million. The new firm will invest JPY 2 billion to build a plant near the port of Nagoya. Output capacity will be between 10,000 tons and 12,500 tons a month. Sales are targeted to reach JPY 4.5 billion in 2012. Sibelco now supplies Japanese glassmakers with silica produced at its Taiwanese factory, but shipments from the new plant are to begin in 2010. Currently, Asahi Glass Co. and Nippon Electric Glass Co. appear to be scaling back glass substrate output because of poor demand for flat-panel televisions during the economic downturn. But Sibelco decided to invest in Japan as it sees Japanese production rising over the long term, according to Sibelco Asia chief executive officer Bruno Wauters. Sibelco supplies companies around the world, registering annual sales of JPY 200 billion.