Japanese glass manufacturer, Nippon Sheet Glass (NSG) is to invest 38 billion yen ($346.9 million) in the expansion of the production capacity of coated glass.

The investment in online transparent conductive oxide (TCO) coated glass aims to support the growing solar market.

This investment will fund the restart and upgrade of a currently dormant float line in Vietnam, and kick-start the construction of a new glass production facility in the United States over the next three years.

The expansion of TCO coated glass is the next step in NSG’s shift towards value-added (VA) products as it supports a long-term supply agreement with the photovoltaic (PV) solar systems provider, First Solar.

Global solar demand is expected to see a double-digit increase every year in the next three years. First Solar is also expanding its production capacity for Series 6, the latest thin film module system with high efficiency and energy yield.

NSG’s TCO coated glass is very durable and has a wide range of applications. It is manufactured with online coating technology, which means that a conductive oxide on the glass surface is forming during its passage through the float line.

With the expanded supply capability for VA products such as solar glass, NSG Group intends to drive its growth strategy while supporting the increased use of renewable energy.