July 15, 2011 / 9:12 AM / in 6 years

Japan's Hoya plans Singapore plant to diversify risk

TOKYO, July 15 (Reuters) - Glassmaker Hoya said on Friday it will open a factory in Singapore, the latest move by a Japanese manufacturer to diversify risk away from the country after the March 11 quake and tsunami reduced power generating capacity.

Economists and politicians have expressed concern that unreliable power supply could the prompt country’s manufacturers to move overseas.

Hoya’s new factory, making mask blanks used in semiconductor manufacturing, will begin operations in July 2012, the company said in a statement. The amount of investment and capacity of the plant have yet to be decided, it said.

The company says it has 80 percent of the market for mask blanks used in semiconductors.

Almost all its output takes place in Yamanashi prefecture, west of Tokyo, which is reliant on Tokyo Electric Power Co .

Large corporate users in areas served by the utility have been ordered to cut their electricity consumption over the peak summer period to help avoid blackouts after the March disaster knocked out generating capacity.

Hoya said last month it would open its first overseas glass furnaces by the end of the year, after being forced to curtail production in March due to power shortages. (Reporting by Kentaro Sugiyama and Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Michael Watson)

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