GT Solar Lighting Business may Benefit from Sapphire Growth

Reportedly, GT Solar predicts its sapphire materials business will contribute about a tenth of its fiscal 2012 sales based on orders for general lighting applications pick up.

According to Cree's CEO’s opinion at the Reuters Global Energy and Climate Summit, LED lights need to pay back hefty investments a lot quicker before they go mainstream.

In opposite, GT Solar's CEO Tom Gutierrez, believes that as more capacity is brought on board, prices will fall, helping sales. In his opinion, the company's customers, centered in South Korea and China, were not averse to operating in a low-margin, high-volume environment.

As a result, Gutierrez expects will expand rapidly as incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs are replaced by LED bulbs.

The company expects the business to contribute $70-$90 million to its fiscal 2012 sales of more than a billion dollars.

Its sapphire business backlog then included new orders worth more than $184.2 million, of which just $10 million was related to sapphire material contracts, with the rest coming from the furnace and other equipment orders. But Gutierrez expects the demand for energy-efficient LEDs -- touted as the future of the lighting industry -- to grow despite the high investments required which have made its mass adoption slower than expected.

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