Thu, Dec 30, 2004 - Page 11 News List

AU Optronics denies production plan

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AU Optronics Corp (友達光電), the world's third-largest maker of flat-panel displays used in computers and televisions, denied a report that it renewed plans to start production from a factory that will make televisions screens measuring 40 inches diagonally.

There is no schedule to start output, Hsiung Hui (熊暉), an executive vice president with Hsinchu, Taiwan-based AU Optronics, said yesterday. The factory building is complete, and production equipment can be moved in within eight months, he said. The company is "comfortable with its position," Hsiung said.

Citing Hsiung, a Chinese-language newspaper reported earlier that AU Optronics will start building the plant as early as the first half of 2006.

AU Optronics in September said that it would delay the project. The company had not previously announced a schedule or amount of investment for the plant.

The company in September said prices have fallen "unreasonably" because rivals are adding to overcapacity. Samsung Electronics Co, the world's largest liquid-crystal display maker, on Monday said it may start running its new plant ahead of schedule in anticipation of rising demand for LCD TVs.

The Suwon, South Korea-based company budgeted an initial 286.7 billion won (US$274 million) to build the plant, scheduled to begin production in the first half of 2006.

Smaller rival LG Philips LCD Co said on Dec. 1 that it plans to spend a record 5.3 trillion won to build the world's largest LCD plant.

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