Ceramic Industry News

Asahi Glass Releases Statement on Japan Earthquakes

Folowing the strong earthquake that hit the northern part of Japan on March 11, Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. (AGC) has reported the impacts of the earthquake on its operations. AGC is currently in the process of confirming the safety of its group members. It has been reported that several employees have been slightly injured.

The following facilities have been heavily affected by the earthquakes and tsunamis. The damage situation in the Tohoku area (northern part of Japan) is very serious, and operations not listed below might also be affected, depending on the electrical power supply and lifeline utilities in the region.

1. AGC Asahi Glass Kashima Plant (Kamisu, Ibaraki prefecture)
Float glass facility for architectural flat glass has been partially damaged. Production operations have been suspended, and it is expected to take approximately one month to restart the production. The loading berth used for the shipments of architectural float flat glass and the receiving of raw materials has been damaged; it is expected that it will take time to restore the facility.

2. AGC Asahi Glass Chiba Plant (Ichihara, Chiba prefecture)
While access restriction has been imposed in the area due to the ongoing fire on the premises of neighboring Cosmo Oil Co. Ltd., AGC is currently working on the confirmation of the status of the plant facilities.

3. AGC Display Glass Yonezawa (Yonezawa, Yamagata prefecture)
There is no critical damage to the building facilities of AGC Display Glass Yonezawa, which processes small/mid-sized LCD glass substrates. Production operations are resuming accordingly. Meanwhile, among the company’s outsourcers what handle a part of its processing operations, some building facilities have been severely damaged, and urgent restoration work is under way.

4. AGC Electronics Koriyama Plant (Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture)
Production facility has been partially damaged, and restoration work is currently under way.

Other than the above locations, production has been suspended at some of the plants for architectural processed glass in Tohoku/North Kanto region due to the damage to facilities or raw materials (e.g., flat glass), or their employees not being able to go to the plant. At this moment, it is not clear when operations will resume.

The outlook and other situations concerning shipments are as follows. Until the operations of the AGC Kashima plant resume, AGC will allocate existing glass inventories and shipments from other AGC Group’s plants in and outside the country and make the utmost effort to prevent a supply shortage of architectural glass. The impacts of the earthquakes and tsunamis have been limited to small/mid-sized LCD glass substrates, and it is considered that impacts on AGC Group’s overall flat panel display (FPD) business will be limited. The loading berth at the AGC Kashima plant has been damaged and it is not clear when production will resume. Regarding AGC Chiba plant, AGC is in the process of confirming the status of the facilities, but the restart of the plant operations from the annual shutdown is expected to be delayed. Regarding impacts on the AGC Group’s business performance, estimated damage is not yet known at this time.

In addition, due to the ongoing serious electricity shortage, the AGC Group will cooperate in the nationwide electricity-saving efforts by reducing electricity use and implementing operation adjustment at the group’s plants.

For additional details, visit www.agc-group.com/en.

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