Flat panel expansion

RAG subsidiary Degussa today started up a new production facility for PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) moulding compounds in Taiwan.


RAG subsidiary Degussa today started up a new production facility for PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) moulding compounds in Taichung, Taiwan, together with its Taiwanese joint venture partner Forhouse.


Degussa holds a 51 percent share and Forhouse a 49 percent share in the joint venture Degussa Forhouse Optical Polymers Corporation, which was launched in January 2006. The new plant manufactures PMMA for optical applications in flat-panel displays.


‘Global demand for our  PMMA moulding compounds is set to rise significantly in the next few years,’ said Gregor Hetzke, President of the Degussa Methacrylates Business Unit. ‘The market for liquid-crystal flat-panel displays is currently expanding at an annual rate of more than 10 percent. The new production facility enables us to serve this growing market from our local site.’


The plant will have an initial annual capacity of some 40,000 metric tonnes and is designed for “over the fence” production. Apart from PMMA manufacture, the further processing of lighting modules (backlight units) for flat-panel displays will also be located at the site.


Forhouse operates several production facilities in Taiwan and mainland China. In 2006, the company achieved sales of some €492m with around 6,000 employees.