GT Advanced sells $12 million in sapphire furnaces to Chinese LED firm

Date Announced: 21 Mar 2012

Merrimack – GT Advanced Technologies says it has received a $12.6 million follow-on order from Zhejiang Shangcheng Science & Technology Co. for additional sapphire growth furnaces designed to meet expected demand from the LED industry and other industrial applications.

“This follow-on order for our Advanced Sapphire Furnaces demonstrates Shangcheng’s confidence not only in the robustness of our sapphire growth technology, but in the continued growth of the LED industry,” Tom Gutierrez, GT’s president and CEO, said in a press release.

Shangcheng produces different types of sapphire ingots and substrates, used in the production of LEDs. Sapphire crystals are commonly used as a substrate for light-emitting diodes.

The company’s Web site says it has set up a $95 million sapphire substrate production line with a capacity of 6 million units using systems from GT Advanced Technologies, according to its Web site. The company also produces sapphire which is used in a variety of other industrial applications.

“The ASF furnaces we initially purchased are now qualified and already producing high quality ASF-grown material,” said Mr. Yuncai Wu, General manager of Zhejiang Shangcheng Science & Technology Co., in a press release. “(The) successful startup of our new sapphire production plant ... is demonstrated by the fact that we have already qualified our material by some top LED manufacturers at two-, four- and six-inch diameters.”

GT Advanced, formerly known as GT Solar, has seen its stock price slump as the solar-power industry, and to a lesser extent the LED industry, have struggled. The stock has fallen from a peak of $17 in early July to a current price under $8.

However, it reports a backlog of orders that has led many analysts to predict better times to come.

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