Samsung invests in LCD line

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. plans to spend 290 billion won (US$277 million) to build a second LCD manufacturing line at its factory in Tangjung, South Korea. Samsung plans to produce panels for LCD TVs with screen sizes of 30 inches across the diagonal and larger on the line, which will begin production in the first half of 2006, the company said Monday.

The new line will be a so-called seventh-generation line, said Cho Sung-In, a company spokeswoman.

Such production lines can handle mother glass - the glass on which displays are made - to a size of up to 187 centimeters by 220cm. Cutting more screens from larger pieces of glass lowers production costs compared to making screens individually, according to the company.

"It's to add capacity because seventh-generation lines are needed to produce larger panels on an affordable basis," said Cho.

The production capacity of the new line has yet to be decided. Construction will begin in early 2005, she said.

The new line and production facilities will be housed in a 393,000 square meter site west of a line for S-LCD Corp., a joint venture between Samsung and Sony Corp., that is due to begin production during the first half of 2005.

S-LCD Corp. was set up this April and capitalized at 2.1 trillion won (US$1.8 billion). The production line is also a seventh-generation line and will be able to produce 60,000 panels per month when it reaches full capacity.

Only Samsung is investing in the new line, which will be used for the production of Samsung TVs, with Sony playing no role in the new investment, Cho said.

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Paul Kallender

IDG News Service
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