Taiwan’s first LCD TV industrial park is expected to begin operations in the first quarter of 2005, according to a recent statement from the Tainan county government.
The county government plans to sell plots in the 247-hectare area near the Tainan Science Park (TSP) through open bidding with results to be announced sometime in May 2004.
Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) and HannStar Display are both planning to build seventh-generation (7G) TFT LCD plants in the nearby TSP as demand for flat-panel TVs soars.
In the first quarter of 2004 Taiwanese LCD TV shipment volume hit a new high of 400,000 units, just short of the 410,000 units shipped for full year 2004, according to the Market Intelligence Center (MIC).
Meanwhile global shipments are expected to jump to 8.34 million units in 2004, up 40 percent from 2003's 3.3 million.
Demand from Taiwan is being driven predominantly by large orders from Dell, HP, Sony, and Panasonic industry watchers said. Taiwan is also seeing a rise in own brand makers including BenQ, Sampo and Teco.
To support this massive growth, international equipment and materials suppliers have been quick to invest in Taiwan.
Corning Inc. recently said it plans to build a second factory in Taiwan to manufacture glass used in liquid crystal display panels to keep up with demand from Taiwan LCD makers.
In February 2004, Corning said it was investing U.S. $600 million during the next 2 years to boost production of the ultra-thin glass at its plants in Tainan and Shizuoka, Japan.
Corning said it expects LCD glass volume to grow 30 percent to 50 percent a year during the next several years.
UNAXIS, a Swiss supplier, recently decided to invest $30.3 million to build a factory and research center in Taiwan to supply panel equipment and technology.
The investment would be the largest ever in Taiwan by a Swiss manufacturer, with the new factory and research center expected to be located at the Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park.
"I do believe more foreign suppliers such as materials and equipment makers from the US and Japan, and chemical suppliers from these areas will come to Taiwan as it has become the world’s top FPD supplier," said C.E. Wang, president of DisplaySearch Taiwan.
"The Taiwan government's policy to attract foreign material and equipment makers participation in Taiwan is also a key driver to the industries success here," he added."
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