Company expanding Kentucky facility to support Gorilla® glass growth.
Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) today announced that its board of directors recently approved a capital expenditure of approximately $180 million to expand the company’s Harrodsburg, Ky., manufacturing facility. The expansion will provide additional capacity for Corning’s surging Gorilla® glass business and entry into the growing thin-film photovoltaic glass market.
“Growing demand for Gorilla glass is quickly consuming our available capacity,” James P. Clappin , president, Corning’s Precision Glass businesses, said. “We are on track to reach sales in excess of $250 million this year and sales could approach the $1 billion mark in 2011. We are making Gorilla glass manufacturing and technology investments today to meet the growing market need of the future,” he said.
Gorilla glass is currently used or designed into more than 200 mobile devices and is planned for about 100 others. Gorilla glass is an ideal cover glass for smart phones, which today represent almost 60 percent of the global mobile phone market. “Gorilla glass is also an appealing solution for the emerging slate computing environment. It is highly damage-resistant and scratch-resistant. The optical quality and elegance of Gorilla glass also makes it a superb cover glass for the thin, edge-to-edge design of LCD televisions,” Clappin said.
Glass for thin-film photovoltaics
Corning also will build capacity in its Harrodsburg facility to begin producing specialty glass for thin-film photovoltaics. The company will use its proprietary fusion manufacturing process to produce the thin-film photovoltaic glass. Corning’s new specialty thin glass can greatly improve the solar module’s energy conversion efficiency and reduce weight while maintaining product strength and long-term reliability.
“Thin-film photovoltaic technology is a rapidly advancing solution within the fast-growing solar energy industry and plays to Corning’s strengths in flat glass, materials science, and light management,” said Dr. Gary Calabrese, vice-president, science and technology and director, Photovoltaic Glass Technologies. “We have already generated significant customer interest in our innovative solutions,” he said.
Corning’s Harrodsburg facility is currently undergoing its third major product transformation since opening in 1952. The facility originally manufactured various ophthalmic products, including photochromic glass. In the mid-1980s, the plant became the focus of its nascent LCD glass business, continuing to produce small-generation substrates until recently shifting into Gorilla and photovoltaic glass production. The facility has also excelled in its role as Corning’s glass-melting technology center, where engineers work closely with scientists at the company’s Sullivan Park Research and Technology Center to develop advanced fusion-formed glass for display, photovoltaic and other emerging applications.
The Harrodsburg investments are included in Corning’s previously announced capital expenditure expectations for 2010 and 2011.
“Corning is a longstanding, vibrant corporate citizen of Kentucky and we are extremely pleased to partner with them on this more than $186 million investment,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. “As a result of this significant expansion, 80 new jobs will be created, production capacity will be increased and the Harrodsburg plant will gain valuable R&D capabilities. This is a win-win development for everyone.”
Assistance for this expansion project has been offered by the state of Kentucky and Gov. Steven L. Beshear’s office through the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority in up to $4.5 million in Kentucky Business Investment incentives, and up to $1 million in tax rebates related to construction costs.
Forward-Looking and Cautionary Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995), which are based on current expectations and assumptions about Corning’s financial results and business operations, that involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include: the effect of global political, economic and business conditions; conditions in the financial and credit markets; currency fluctuations; tax rates; product demand and industry capacity; competition; reliance on a concentrated customer base; manufacturing efficiencies; cost reductions; availability of critical components and materials; new product commercialization; pricing fluctuations and changes in the mix of sales between premium and non-premium products; new plant start-up or restructuring costs; possible disruption in commercial activities due to terrorist activity, armed conflict, political or financial instability, natural disasters, adverse weather conditions, or major health concerns; adequacy of insurance; equity company activities; acquisition and divestiture activities; the level of excess or obsolete inventory; the rate of technology change; the ability to enforce patents; product and components performance issues; retention of key personnel; stock price fluctuations; and adverse litigation or regulatory developments. These and other risk factors are detailed in Corning’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the day that they are made, and Corning undertakes no obligation to update them in light of new information or future events.
About Corning Incorporated
Corning Incorporated (www.corning.com) is the world leader in specialty glass and ceramics. Drawing on more than 150 years of materials science and process engineering knowledge, Corning creates and makes keystone components that enable high-technology systems for consumer electronics, mobile emissions control, telecommunications and life sciences. Our products include glass substrates for LCD televisions, computer monitors and laptops; ceramic substrates and filters for mobile emission control systems; optical fiber, cable, hardware & equipment for telecommunications networks; optical biosensors for drug discovery; and other advanced optics and specialty glass solutions for a number of industries including semiconductor, aerospace, defense, astronomy and metrology.
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