Samsung, Sony's LCD venture to increase production

Samsung and Sony's LCD venture will invest almost $100 million to increase production of TV LCD panels in South Korea, it said Tuesday.

S-LCD, the Samsung Electronics and Sony joint LCD panel manufacturing venture, is planning to raise production of large-screen LCD panels by a fourth, it said Tuesday.

S-LCD operates a production line at Samsung's facility in Tangjeong, South Korea, and produces LCD (liquid crystal display) panels for large-screen television sets. Increasing demand for such sets is pushing the two companies to increase production, they said.

The company will raise an additional 100 billion won (AUD$130 million) to increase production capacity from the current 60,000 glass sheets per month to 75,000 sheets per month. The actual number of LCD panels that can be produced each month will vary depending on the size of panel being made. The production line can process sheets of 187cms by 220cms -- so-called 7th generation sheets -- from which for example eight 40-inch or six 46-inch panels can be produced.

The company hopes to raise the money in the first half of next year with the intention of reaching the new production capacity in July, 2006, they said in a statement.

The announcement comes a month after Samsung said it will increase investment in a similar line being built alongside the S-LCD facility in Tangjeong.

Samsung had originally committed 2.4 trillion won to build its own production line and in October said it will invest a further 1.8 trillion won. The initial investment is enough to get production started in April next year at a maximum capacity of 45,000 glass sheets per month and the additional money will double this to 90,000 sheets per month.

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Martyn Williams

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