Japanese earthquake stops supply of glass to LCD makers

Glass firm Corning said that the 6.5 earthquake that hit Tokyo and the neighborhood yesterday has caused it to adjust its expectations for the quarter because LCD manufacturing will stop for some time.

The earthquake caused landslides that closed down a highway but caused some injuries but no fatalities.

Corning said in a statement today that its LCD manufacturing plant in Shizuoka was “disrupted” by the quake.

James Flaws, Corning’s CFO, said no employees were injured. But, he said: “Our glass making operations at the facility are currently suspended and we believe they will remain so for some time.”

He said Corning is contemplating its options to meet customer demand and try and restart glass melting tanks at other of its factories around the world.

“It is clear that glass volume at our wholly owned business will be lower than originally planned for the third quarter. At the present time it does not appear that this outage will have a material impact on our fourth quarter shipments,” he said.

Sequential volumes of LCD glass will be down between five and 10 percent in the third quarter he said. Sales will be affected to the tune of $65 million.

It has other LCD glass plants in Japan, including a joint venture it has with Samsung, but they’re not affected.

Flaws said the events were completely out of its control. LCD manufacturers have not yet reported the effect Corning’s statement will have on supplies.