Tosoh invests to double silica glass output

Tosoh Corp. plans to double its production capacity for silica glass from the current 500-600 tons by constructing a high-temperature fusion furnace at a cost of JPY 1 billion.
The furnace will be ho…

Tosoh Corp. plans to double its production capacity for silica glass from the current 500-600 tons by constructing a high-temperature fusion furnace at a cost of JPY 1 billion. The furnace will be housed in a new building to be constructed next to a factory of quartz production unit Tosoh SGM Corp. The new facility in Shunan, Yamaguchi Prefecture, is expected to be completed in July 2007. Tosoh aims to increase its annual sales of materials for digital products from about JPY 50 billion at present to around JPY 100 billion by 2010. Silica glass, or quartz glass, is a high-purity glass made using silicon dioxide. It withstands high temperatures and offers high optical transparency. Demand is growing for silica glass for use in semiconductor- and LCD-manufacturing equipment. The global market for quartz for use in digital-product-related applications is JPY 150 billion. Tosoh and Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. are competing for the position of the world leader, with each controlling around 20% of the market, according to a US market research firm.