Nippon Sheet Glass revives Vietnam plant for solar glass

Japanese material maker plans $365m investment to raise global output

Nippon Sheet Glass will invest around 40 billion yen ($365 million) to expand production of solar glass, as growing demand for renewable energy trickles down to Japan’s material makers, whose technology is crucial for high-performance panels.

The funds, which mark the company’s biggest capital spending since 2000, will go toward restarting an idle factory in Vietnam and building a new one in the U.S. Reported by Nikkei Asian Review.

Plans call for raising capacity by about 30% for a special glass coated in a transparent conductive film that forms the topmost layer of thin-film solar panels. The glass can also be used for other purposes like construction.

The Vietnam plant is scheduled to reopen as soon as mid-2019. It originally produced glass for liquid crystal displays but was shut down in 2016 as intense competition from rivals like Asahi Glass and Corning undercut profitability.

Construction on the new U.S. factory is to start in the second half of fiscal 2020. A site has not yet been chosen but is expected to be near major customer First Solar’s new plant in the state of Ohio.

Nippon Sheet Glass will repurpose its idle factory in Vietnam to make glass for solar panels.

Nippon Sheet Glass will sign a long-term supply agreement with First Solar, which holds about 5% of the global solar panel market and is rapidly raising output in the U.S. and Asian countries like Malaysia. The completed panels are likely to

By Nikkei staff writer, read full article on Nikkei Asian Review