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Schott launches LCD JV in South Korea

Posted: 26 Feb 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Schott AG? LCD? TFT-LCD? display? glass substrate?

German-based glass substrate maker, Schott AG said Feb. 22 it is launching a joint venture plant with Japan's Kuramoto to process TFT-LCD glass substrates in South Korea.

The $144 million joint venture, Schott-Kuramoto Processing Korea Co. Ltd, will be located in Ochang Science Park about 60 miles south of Seoul. It will have a monthly production capacity of 40,000 units for fifth generation and 37,000 sheets of seventh generation TFT-LCD glass substrates.

The plant is expected to reach full capacity by August, said Uwe Tomschin, CEO and president of the Schott-Kuramoto Processing Korea.

Schott said in a statement that it holds 75 percent of the joint venture, supplying it with large-format glass substrates. Kuramoto will contribute its processing technology and will hold the remaining stake in the venture.

The venture is Schott's biggest single investment in Asia and "the biggest single investment outside Germany in terms of our LCD business," said Karl-Peter Merz, a member of Schott's management board.

Glass substrates processed in the JV will be used in flat-panel displays for PC monitors, notebooks and TVs. All of the substrates from the venture will be supplied to Korean display makers, including Samsung Electronics and LG.Philips LCD.

Despite stiff competition here from Samsung Corning Co., which claims about 80 percent of the market, Merz predicted the JV could succeed since domestic demand for LCD glass substrates remains high. Korean manufacturers account for more than 40 percent of global LCD production. Schott-Kuramoto expects annual sales in 2007 to reach "double-digit" millions of dollars, Merz added.

- Sean Shim
EE Times

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