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Samsung dips $418M in LCD facility expansion

Posted: 16 Dec 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Samsung investment? LCD? panel shipment?

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has authorized an investment of 484.6 billion won ($418 million) for the expansion of an LCD line.

The South Korea company is investing in its existing LCD Line 8 facility. The 8th LCD facility is located in Tangjeong, South Korea, according to reports.

The company hopes "to meet the growing market demand by increasing production," Samsung said. "The investment will be executed in the first half of 2010."

Samsung also announced a major restructuring Dec. 14, for the second time in 11 months, appointing a new CEO and changing its reporting structure to give business units greater autonomy.

The company recently said it expects consolidated capital expenditure for the whole year of 2009 to reach 7 trillion won ($6.03 billion), including 4 trillion won ($3.44 billion) for semiconductor and 2 trillion won ($1.72 billion) for LCD, more than initially planned.

Samsung expects to increase capital expenditure further in 2010, with more than 5.5 trillion won ($4.74 billion) planned for its memory business to respond to rising demand and 3 trillion won ($2.58 billion) for LCD.

Its rival, South Korea's LG Display Co. Ltd, in July announced that it would invest 3.27 trillion won ($2.82 billion), excluding building cost, to set up its expansion of 8th generation LCD production line in Paju, Korea.

Akin to the company's existing 8th generation line, dubbed P8, the new P8E line will mainly produce 55-, 47- and 32-inch TV panels. Mass production at P8E is slated to begin in the second half of 2010.

Demand is recovering in LCDs. "Global large-sized panel shipments (including the 8.9-inch and above) rose by 3.4 percent month-over-month to 49.53 million units in November 2009, and its year-over-year performance far-exceeded expectations, with a 74.2 percent surge," according to WitsView's latest survey.

"Thanks to China's domestic demand stimulus program, shipments of LCD TV panels have been showing strong growth momentum, reaching 15.11 million units in November, up by 0.6 percent month-over-month, or a triple-digit growth of 101.3 percent year-over-year," according to the research firm.

"In a typical crystal cycle, panel shipments usually decline by November due to the slow season, and the global financial downturn further fueled the down cycle effect last year," according to the report. November 2008 panel shipments plummeted by 21.7 percent in November.

"After the global economy gradually recovers, this year's end-market sales in the U.S. and Europe during Thanksgiving and Christmas season was particularly outstanding compared to the same period last year; TFT-LCD panel industry showed a stronger down cycle thanks largely to brand vendors' aggressive promotion to stimulate purchases, and the boom of China's domestic demand," according to the firm.

"With optimistic outlook toward sales in China during New Year and Chinese New Year, manufacturers have begun to stock-up early, in October, which helped spur the growth in panel shipments in November," it added.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times





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