April 6, 2004Management

Increasing Production Capacity of PDP Glass Substrates

Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo; President: Masahiro Kadomatsu ) has decided to increase its production capacity of glass substrates used in PDPs (Plasma Display Panels). To boost output of glass for PDP glass substrates, the Company will convert t one float furnace for automotive glass at the Aichi Plant into for PDP glass substrates, and will invest approximately 8 billion yen to substantially expand processing facilities at Hanwook Techno Glass Co., Ltd., a subsidiary in which Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. owns a 70% stake (Headquarters: Gumi-City, Kyungbuk, South Korea) by the end of 2004.

The number of PDP television sets is forecast to rise to 9 million units in 2007 from 1.4 million units in 2003, demonstrating annual growth of 60% during this period. Against the backdrop, demand for PDP glass substrates is likely to sharply increase from now on, mainly in Japan and South Korea.

Asahi Glass currently manufactures PDP glass substrates at the Kansai Plant, and implements procedures such as end-face cutting and ITO coating at the Kansai and Keihin Plants, Asahi Glass' wholly owned subsidiary Asahi Glass Fine Techno Co. Ltd. (Headquarters: Yonezawa) and Hanwook Techno Glass . To cope with the projected strong demand, Asahi Glass now plans to raise production of PDP glass substrates by converting the furnace for automotive glass at the Aichi Plant into a furnace for PDP glass substrates, while enhancing processing facilities at Hanwook Techno Glass . Through a balanced growth of the manufacturing furnace and processing facilities, Asahi Glass aims to create a stable supply of PDP glass substrates, for which demand is continuing to rise.

Asahi Glass will convert the float furnace for automotive glass at the Aichi Plant into one for PDP glass substrates. Production is expected to begin in May 2004. As a result, the Company's total production capacity of PDP Glass substrates will be doubled when furnaces at the Kansai and Aichi Plants are in full operation.

Meanwhile, in an aim to boost processing capabilities for PDP glass substrates, Asahi Glass will invest around 8 billion yen in adding end-face cutting line and ITO coating line at Hanwook Techno Glass. The new lines are scheduled to begin operating one after another between May and December 2004. Output capacity will be tripled ultimately.

Asahi Glass started its PDP glass substrate production in 1996 at the Kansai Plant, becoming the world's pioneer in the field, and since then the Company's PD200 model has become a de facto standard. The PD200 now accounts for 90% of the global market for PDP glass substrate products. The Company will strive to maintain its status as Global No.1 in this sector by offering higher quality, more advanced technologies as well as better services through stable product supply.


Outline of Hanwook Techno Glass Co., Ltd.

(1) Head office: Gumi-City, Kyungbuk, South Korea
(2) Representative: Hiroshi Akita
(3) Capital: 3.9 billion won
  (4) Shareholders: Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.: (70%); Hanjin Trading Co., Ltd (30%)
  (5) Establishment: May 2002 (Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. acquired a majority interest in January 2003.)
  (6) Number of employees: 65
  (7) Business activities: Processing and sales of PDP glass substrates

Flowchart of Asahi Glass' PDP Glass Substrate Manufacturing

Shinichi Kawakami, General Manager,
Corporate Communications Division, Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.
Contact: Yoshihiko Saito
TEL: 03-3218-5509
E-mail: info-pr@agc.co.jp