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Japan's Toray opens film plant in Taiwan

By: Steve Toloken

February 15, 2013

TOKYO -- Japan's Toray Advanced Film Co. Ltd. opened a new manufacturing plant for surface protection films in Taiwan in late January, to meet growing demand in the LCD television and display panel industry.

The facility in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, is the first outside of Japan for Toray to manufacture its Toretec brand of polyethylene-based film, which are used in manufacturing light guide plates and as plastic sheet, and is expected to steadily increase its production to 17,000 metric tons per year.

Taiwanese firms have the largest market share worldwide for making light guide plates, which are needed to produce LED-based liquid crystal displays, Tokyo-based Toray said.

"Demand for surface protection film is rapidly increasing across Asia led by demand in luminance improvement films and light guide plates," Toray said, adding that it " has been fully utilizing its production capacity against the backdrop of robust global demand, but further increase in capacity became imperative as supplies have not been keeping pace with demand."

Toray said it also chose to manufacture in Taiwan because of its reduced corporate tax rate, as well as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement the island has with mainland China, which it said will boost Taiwanese competitiveness.

The Taipei Times newspaper also quoted Taiwanese government officials as saying that Toray chose Taiwan because of its ability to protect intellectual property.

Toray is investing NT$2.4 billion (US$83 million) in the facility, which will be in the Southern Taiwan Science Park, the newspaper said. Toretec film is also used as a protective layer for plastic boards.