AU Optronics: 7.5G TFT-LCD plant in China

Taiwan-based manufacturer of thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), recently filed an application for setting up a 7.5th-generation (7.5G) panel plant i…

Taiwan-based manufacturer of thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), recently filed an application for setting up a 7.5th-generation (7.5G) panel plant in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province of mainland China, at a cost of USD 3 billion. According to industry sources, if everything goes according to plan, AUO will be the first Taiwanese panel maker to operate a panel plant in China, creating advantages such as direct shipment, cost reduction, etc. AUO said that it plans to put USD 1.2 billion into the investment project over three years, while it will rely on financial support from domestic banks for the remaining USD 1.8 billion. Mmonthly production capacity at the Chinese facility would be 60,000 substrates in the initial stage, with planned volume of 90,000 substrates. BenQ Corp., AUO“s affiliate, has set up a comprehensive LCD TV supply chain in eastern China, which include assembly lines, LCD module (LCM) production, and a group of key-parts suppliers. The panel plant is expected to help set up an integrated supply chain in AUO Group“s LCD TV business development in China. Industry experts are expecting AUO“s major local rival, Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. (CMO), to file a similar mainland investment application once Chimei Innolux Corp., a merger between former CMO, Innolux Display Corp., and TPO Displays Corp., is formally established on 18 March. Industry sources said that the world“s top-two suppliers Corning and Asahi would probably set up their glass-melting facilities in eastern and southern China.