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said today that its board approved a $400 million plan to build the company's sixth optical manufacturing plant.

The company expects the facility, which will be in Oklahoma City, Okla., to employ hundreds of workers and begin fiber production in 2004.

Two months ago Corning said it was investing an additional $450 million in its existing Concord, N.C., manufacturing facility.

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The company said it plans on increasing its fiber-making capacity by 25% each year from 2002 through 2004.

"We continue to believe that the demand for optical fiber worldwide remains robust and are investing accordingly," the company said in a statement. "We have been experiencing strong demand for our leading-edge fiber products."

Shares of Corning fell $3.63, or 7.3%, to $46.12 in recent

New York Stock Exchange