SEOUL, South Korea Raising the stakes in the flat-panel TV market, South Korea’s Samsung SDI Co. Ltd., said Monday (April 3) it would invest 730 billion won ($751 million) to build a plasma display plant that would begin operation in May 2007.
Considered one of the leading PDP makers, Samsung SDI said the company’s fourth PDP line will be located on a 99,000 square meter site in the southeastern industrial city of Ulsan. The plant will have an annual production capacity equivalent to 3 million 42-inch PDPs.
The plant will bring Samsung SDI’s annual PDP production capacity to 7.32 million units, according to the company.
"When completed, the fourth PDP plant will also have capabilities to realize mass production process for full high-definition 42-inch and 50-inch TV screens for the first time," a Samsung SDI spokesman said.
The company added that the plant’s groundbreaking has been advanced ahead of its original schedule, in response to increasing demand particularly from North America.
50-inch and larger sizes captured 31 percent of the plasma TV market in the U.S. in January, up from 25 percent last December, Samsung said.
In January, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said it would invest $1.6 billion to build a fourth PDP plant in Hyogo Prefecture, in a joint venture with Toray Industries Inc.
Market research firm Display Search projects global PDP demand to rise from 11.03 million this year to 22.78 million by 2008.