Samsung to invest $US21 billion in solar cells, LEDs, more

The chip, LCD and mobile phone giant outlined investments in 5 new areas

Samsung Electronics plans to invest a massive amount of money to develop new businesses ranging from green energy to healthcare, such as solar cells and biopharmaceuticals.

The 23.3 trillion Korean won (US$21 billion) investment is aimed at developing five new businesses that the company expects to create 45,000 new jobs and generate 50 trillion won in annual revenue for affiliate companies by 2020, Samsung said in a statement Tuesday.

"Governments around the world are now investing in green industries to address the issues of depleting energy resources and the protection of our planet’s environment, which present pressing challenges to the global community," Samsung said.

The company has earmarked 6 trillion won of the amount for solar cells, using crystalline silicon technology and thin film technology. Another 5.4 trillion won will be used for rechargeable batteries for hybrid electric vehicles and 8.6 trillion won will go to LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology for a range of power-saving applications, from computer screen backlights to car electronics and indoor/outdoor lighting.

On the medical side, Samsung will invest 2.1 trillion won in biopharmaceuticals and 1.2 trillion won in electronic healthcare equipment, starting from external diagnostic tools such as blood testing devices.

Samsung already ranks among the world's largest makers of memory chips, LCD screens and mobile phones, in addition to a host of other businesses, including home appliances and consumer electronics.

A number of companies around the world have announced plans to invest in energy saving industries. Chip giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), for example, is also investing in the solar and LED markets. The company in March broke ground on an LED research and manufacturing center in Taiwan.

U.S. technology giants IBM, Intel and chip equipment-maker Applied Materials have all invested in solar businesses.

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