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Sumitomo will double capacity at its liquid-crystal polymers plant in Ehime, Japan, to 6,000 metric tons per year. The move is to prepare for an expected increase in demand for liquid-crystal polymer components such as the bobbins in the backlights of LCD televisions. As a first step, Sumitomo will increase capacity to 4,500 metric tons in the spring of 2005. In Ehime, Sumitomo is also building a new R&D lab focused on the development of optical films. Separately, Sumitomo will sell its plant making o-cresol novolac epoxy resin for semiconductor encapsulation to Taiwan's Changchun Plastics.
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