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Taiwan steps-up optoelectronics, PV initiatives

Posted: 27 Aug 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Taiwan PV market? optoelectronics? photovoltaic? flat-panel display?

Taiwan's domestic optoelectronics industry is thriving with output value expected grow from NT$182 billion ($5.54 billion) in 2008 to NT$320 billion ($9.73 billion) by 2015, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

To encourage domestic firms' entry into the optoelectronic materials industry market, the MOEA has drafted related guidance measures for flat-panel display (FPD) and photovoltaic (PV) materials. This is also necessary because of three things that are happening in Taiwan.

First, the implementation of the three-year Project for LCD Materials Localization Promotion will end in 2009. The project has helped over 20 conventional chemicals and textiles companies enter the market for optical-grade TAC and protective films and related raw materials; these companies include Eternal Chemical, Exploit Technology Co, Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corp., Chang Chun Group, ACHEM Technology Corp. and others. Investment in these areas are expected to reach NT$5.9 billion ($179.48 million) in 2009 and NT$21.2 billion ($644.90 million) in 2012.

Second, the New Leading Product Developing plan has provided guidance to conventional industry companies, including the Tainan Spinning Co., Pou Chen Group, Tai Yuen Textile Co., Everfine Industry Corp. and eChem Solutions Corp., for producing raw materials such as FPD packaging and reflexive packaging materials, as well as any materials used in the manufacturing process. Raw materials for touchscreen panels and Gen 8.5 FPDs, including indium tin oxide film and ODF rubber materials, are also being developed by Efun Technology Co., Gamma Optical and Daxin Materials Corp., with investments totaling NT$2 billion ($60.84 million).

Third, the Project for Environmentally-compatible Optoelectronic Materials Industry Promotion provides government guidance for investment in low-power, low-toxicity, as well as recycled and environmentally-friendly optoelectronic materials. The Project aims to establish and transfer more than 20 key technologies to industry firms in four years to facilitate a transition into mass production, and expects to generate up to NT$1 billion ($30.42 million) in investments.

Growing domestic production
The Plan for Establishing an Optoelectronic Materials Industry Environment is a comprehensive development strategy for the PV industry, providing guidance to domestic firms for the production of PV materials through the New Leading Product Development Project. Sun Material Technology Corp., Taiwan Polysilicon Corp. and Muto Silicon Corp. are building manufacturing facilities for polysilicon materials; upstream industry supply for these facilities, such as Taiwan Glass' low-iron glass and Gigastorage's silver/aluminum paste, are already in mass production. In addition, mass production of ethylene vinyl acetate and welding materials will begin respectively at Formosa and Shenmao Technology's production lines; a combined investment of NT$700 million ($21.29 million). The domestic supply of PV materials is expected to meet domestic needs by June 2010.

Taiwan's conventional industries have amassed much optoelectronic industry production expertise in a short period. Government assistance has not only led to successful industry transformation but also filled the domestic niche for (PV) and FPD materials for increased output for export. Total investments from the two industries are expected to reach NT$30.8 billion in 2012 ($936.94 million).

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