Corning to set up glass plant, Asian headquarters at CTSP

Dec 09, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι General Items Ι By Quincy, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 9, 2003 (CENS)--Corning Inc. of the United States has decided to set up a glass substrate plant in the Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP) and move its Asian headquarters to the park from Tokyo, Japan.

Lee Jieh-mu, director of Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park administration and director of CTSP preparatory office, recently confirmed Corning's plans to apply for a 35- hectare land and invest NT$20 billion (US$586.51 million at US$1: NT$34.1) in the proposed glass plant at CTSP.

In addition to the American glass maker, Lee added, several optoelectronic companies including Nitto Denko Corp. (a Japan-based big maker of polarizers for thin film transistor-liquid crystal display--TFT-LCD--panels), Jantex technology Co., Ltd. (a leading local polarizer maker), and local Quanta Display Inc. (a TFT-LCD panel maker), are also applying for land lots in CTSP for setting up new facilities.

Several big high-tech firms confirmed investment in CTSP, inclduing AU Optronics Corp. which plans to invest NT$200 billion, or US$5.87 billion and apply for a 60 hectares land in CTSP to set up next-generation TFT-LCD panel production facilities including in-house color filter production lines), ProMOS Technologies Inc. (NT$155 billion, or US$4.55 billion; 12 hectares land), and Winbond Electronics Corp. (NT$100 billion or US$2.93 billion, 12 hectares land). Lee said that CTSP has attracted total investment amount of NT$460 billion (US$13.49 billion) from 28 local and foreign investors.

Lee said that AU Optronics' big investment project in CTSP has led to an optoelectronic- industry clustering effect in CTSP and attracted many up- and down-stream makers to set up production plants in the park.

Lee said that Corning plans to use a 30 hectares land to set up a glass furnace plant and a 5 hectares land for the company's Asian operation headquarter moved from Japan.

According to Lee, Quanta Display Inc. chairman Barry Lam has expressed willingness to invest NT$300 billion (US$8.8 billion) in CTSP and required for a 60 t0 70 hectares land for his company's TFT-LCD panel plant complex. Lee said that CTSP preparatory office has begun actively planning the park's second-stage expansion project.

Lee added that Asahi Glass Co. (AGC) of Japan has called up CTSP preparatory office for three times, expressing willingness to invest NT$20 billion (US$586.51 million) to set up a glass furnace plant in the park as well as required for a 50 hectares land for the scheduled facility. The director pointed out that his preparatory office would provide a needed land in Yunlin to Asahi after the Japanese company handed out its investment application form.

At CTSP, AU Optronics' sixth-generation panel plant is under intensive construction and is scheduled to be installed with production equipment in June next year and enter first-stage mass production in the first quarter of 2005. The panel maker plans to recruit about 1,500 engineers in relevant fields to meet the manufacturing and R&D personnel requirements from the new facility in CTSP.

Currently, about 15,000 workers are devoted into the construction works of AU Optronics' sixth-generation panel plant in CTSP. Due to the smooth construction progresses and good weather in Taichung, the plant is expected to be completely constructed earlier than originally expected. The new panel facility will have several hundreds of employees in its first-stage operation in the first quarter of 2005 and will produce mainly LCD TV panel products.
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