Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO) yesterday officially kicked off construction of a massive TFT-LCD (thin film transistor liquid crystal display) works.
The project, in Foshan｀s Nanhai District, was granted permission by the Taiwan authorities late last month, and will be both the largest TFT-LCD factory in the province as well as the largest overseas investment project in Foshan.
CMO, based in Taiwan, is one of the world｀s leading TFT-LCD suppliers. Its key products are large-size TFT-LCD panels for laptops, desktop monitors, and televisions.
Total investment for the Nanhai CMO project will surpass US$2 billion. And the initial phase, which is set to begin production in late 2007, entails capital of US$30 million.
"CMO｀s new overseas plant in Nanhai will strengthen our total manufacturing strategy and cost competitiveness," said Jack Lin, senior vice-president of CMO.
He said that the Nanhai project will produce 2 million liquid crystal modules (LCM) a month, reaching a gross industrial output value of US$10 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Lin said the mainland｀s TV and computer industries have been developing very rapidly, increasing demand for TFT-LCD panels.
"The 2008 Beijing Olympics alone will mean a substantial business opportunity for us."
In late 2004, CMO set up its first overseas plant in Ningbo, a city in East China｀s Zhejiang Province, also manufacturing LCMs.
"Guangdong is developing the TFT-LCD industry into a key industry in the 11th Five Year Plan (2006-10) and the Nanhai CMO project is expected to make a tremendous contribution to the development of the industry in the province," noted Tong Xing, vice-governor of Guangdong.
The senior official said the province｀s strategy to develop the TFT-LCD industry is based on demand generated by the sustained development of the TV and computer industries in Guangdong.
Guangdong has long been China｀s key manufacturing base for TVs and computers, and TVs made in the province account for 47 per cent of the nation｀s total.
"The TV industry in the province needs to be upgraded with the latest technological developments, including TFT-LCD, to guarantee sustained development," said Tong.
Official statistics indicate that the province imported high-end crucial component elements including integrated circuit boards and new types of monitors worth US$8.5 billion in 2005.
Work will begin on another two TFT-LCD projects in Guangzhou and Shenzhen later this year.
(China Daily July 25, 2006)