News Releases 2006

Kuraray to Expand Production Capacity of Optical-Use Poval Film for Polarized Film
-Responding to Sharp Rise in Demand for Liquid Crystal Displays-

August 10, 2006
Kuraray Co., Ltd.

Kuraray has announced its decision to expand production of optical-use poval film, which serves as a base ingredient for polarized film, an essential component of liquid crystal displays (LCDs). Kuraray plans to add 30 million m² to its annual poval film production capacity by June 2007, for a total capacity of 121 million m² per year.

Owing to a huge rise in demand for large-screen LCD TVs and LCD monitors, the LCD market has experienced exponential growth. Though Kuraray nearly doubled its optical-use poval film production capacity in 2005 (31 million m² at Kuraray Saijo and 30 million m² at Kuraray Tamashima) and is boosting production capacity for an additional 30 million m², aiming for completion in mid-2007, the Company has deemed it necessary to invest further in production capacity expansion in order to meet the steep rise in demand, which has surpassed initial expectations.

Through these efforts to enhance production capacity of optical-use poval film for polarized film applications, Kuraray is building a production structure capable of precisely responding to heavy demand—equal to two times its current capacity—by December 2007.

Production Capacity (Million m² /year)
  Plant Current Capacity Planned Increase Completion Date Capacity after Completion
Current capacity Kuraray Saijo 31     31
Current capacity Kuraray Tamashima 30     30
Increase in process Kuraray Tamashima   +30 Jun.2007 60
Decided increase Kuraray Tamashima   +30 Dec.2007 90
Total   61 +60   121

The new production line equipment will be the equivalent of the equipment installed at Kuraray Tamashima in 2005 and will be capable of producing the wide poval film that is needed for larger LCD sizes. The new equipment is also suited to meet demands for high quality through its ability to manufacture new VF–PE optical-use poval film, which was developed last year and offers significant improvements in optical performance.

Kuraray will continue to actively pursue new technological developments and quality enhancements as the leading manufacturer of optical-use poval film for polarized film used in LCDs, thereby contributing to the significant expansion of the LCD market.

Outline of Facility Expansion

Location Kuraray Tamashima Co., Ltd.
Otoshima 7471, Tamashima, Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture
President Katsuhiko Nishiguchi
Capital ¥10 million; A wholly owned Kuraray subsidiary
Equipment Capacity 30 million m² / year
Planned Completion December 2007
Capital investment Approx. ¥7.0 billion