Taiwan Glass to build seventh production base in mainland

Jan 20, 2005 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι General Items Ι By Ben, CENS
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Taipei, Jan. 20, 2005 (CENS)--Taiwan Glass Industrial Corp., Taiwan's leading manufacturer of glass and related products, has decided to invest US$10 million to set up a seventh glass plant in Tianjin municipality of mainland China.

With the establishment of the seventh glass plant, Taiwan Glass will see total production capacity amount to over one million metric tons in the mainland next year, becoming a giant manufacturer of glass in both Taiwan and the mainland.

To cope with the regulations set by the Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan Glass will first invest US$8 million in the Tianjin plant. The company said it would first set up a flat-glass kiln with an annual output capacity of 180,000 metric tons in Tianjin, which will begin mass production in May 2006.

A Taiwan Glass executive noted the proposed Tianjin plant would help his company increase strength in the northern Chinese glass market, where the company has already owned a plant in Qingdao of Shandong Province.

Thanks to the price hike in glass and fiberglass fabric, Taiwan Glass reported over NT$700 million (US$21.87 million at US$1:NT$32) in profits from its operations in the mainland last year, far surpassing the NT$170 million (US$5.31 million) posted in 2003.

The company registered NT$3.4 billion (US$106.25 million) in after-tax earnings in the first 11 months of last year. An institutional investor predicted the glass maker would be able to see pretax earnings exceed NT$4 billion (US$125 million) last year to hit the highest level seen its establishment four decades ago.

Currently Taiwan Glass has begun mass production at its Qingdao, Tunghai, Changjiang plants, and another two plants, including Chengdu and Huanan plants, will begin mass production in January. If the Tianjin plant begins production, Taiwan Glass will complete its mainland deployment with annual output reaching 1.1 million metric tons.

Taiwan Glass estimated it would see annual output reach over two million metric tons of glass in both Taiwan and the mainland in 2006, making it rank among the top-six glass groups and the top-three manufacturers of fiber-glass fabrics in the world.

The firm has also got involved in the production of fiberglass fabrics in the mainland over the past several years. The company is expected to kick off production of the second kiln of its fiberglass-fabric plant in Kunshan of Jiangsu Province in the middle of this year.

Taiwan Glass predicted the ratio of mainland sales to overall sales would rise to over 45% in 2006 from present 24%. Total sales will climb to NT$27 billion (US$843.75 million) in 2006, compared to last year's NT$21 billion (US$656.25 million).
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