Sharp To Throw A Cool US$4B At New LCD TV Plant, Again

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Who said that there is no money in LCD TVs. Only months after opening a brand new 8th generation LCD TV plant, Sharp is planning to throw an additional US$4 billion into building an additional LCD TV factory to build 40″ to 60″ screens.

Sharp will spend some 500 billion yen (US$4.1 billion) to build one of the world’s largest factories for LCD panels, according to Japanese media reports.

The planned factory in the western region of Osaka will start full scale production in 2009, Nikkei Business Daily said. It will be capable of producing more than 22 million 32-inch panels annually, according to Yomiuri Shimbun.

Both Asahi Shimbun and Japan Times Online said the factory will be constructed as early as summer 2007, with Japan Times indicating the plant will produce 40- to 60-inch panels.

Sharp said it has indeed been considering building a new LCD panel plant. However, the details are not yet decided and Sharp will make a decision by the summer, it added.

 

Currently, Sharp’s most-advanced LCD generation is eighth-generation (8G). In January 2007, the company said it will start operation of a third production line at the plant by July 2007. This will follow the ahead-of-schedule start-up of a second production line in January 2007. As a result, Sharp will expand its production capacity to 60,000 glass substrates per month, doubling the current monthly production capacity of 30,000 units and will expand this further to 90,000 units per month in 2008.

Due to the global expansion of digital broadcasting, demand for LCD TVs continues to expand. Sharp estimates worldwide demand for LCD TVs to be 45 million units for fiscal 2006 (the year ended March 2007) and 68 million units, 1.5 times larger, for fiscal 2007. The demand for 40-inch-and larger LCD TVs is expected to be especially vibrant, the maker said.

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