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Samsung Electronics Completing LCD Plant Near Seoul
Jun 18, 2004
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Samsung Electronics Co. is putting the final touches to its new LCD plant in Asan, southwest of Seoul, amid tight security, the company said.

The plant, unveiled to the media for the first time after its LCD division moved to the area, is to begin production in the first half of 2005.

Currently, about 1,000 employees, including Lee Sang-wan, the head of Samsung Electronics' LCD division, are working on preparing the plant, which is under construction.

The plant will produce the so-called seventh-generation LCDs used to make large panels for televisions and monitors. Starting in July, Samsung Electronics said it will set up facilities in the Asan plant.

Although the facilities have not been installed yet, tight security is in place because of worries about industrial espionage.

X-ray machines have been set up at the gates of the plant to inspect the belongings of employees and visitors to prevent them from bringing easily concealable devices such as digital cameras and camera phones.

Taking pictures inside or outside the plant has also been strictly banned, Samsung Electronics officials said. "From a building's external appearance, professionals are able to understand how the inner production lines are shaped," a Samsung Electronics official told reporters.

Four production lines are scheduled to be set up in the Asan plant. The size of a single line is 5.5 times that of a conventional football field, the company said.

Samsung Corning Co. and Samsung Corning Precision Glass Co., which supply the glass used in LCD screens to Samsung Electronics, have also moved to the Asan plant. Additionally, the state-owned Korea Electric Power Corp. has completed the building of a facility to ensure a stable supply of electricity to the plant, Samsung Electronics said.

Samsung Electronics has said it will invest a total of 20 trillion won (approx. U.S. $17.2 billion) in the first LCD plant over the next 10 years. By then, the investment is expected to create 20,000 jobs, and revenues from the Asan plant are forecast to hit 10 trillion won a year after 2010, according to the company's predictions. (Yonhap)

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