Taiwan's environmental protection agency has cleared flat panel maker Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子) to resume building a new factory in Tainan, a company executive said yesterday.
The sixth-generation plant will start mass production in the second quarter of next year after the clearance from the Environmental Protection Administration, finance director Dennis Chen (
The environmental agency asked the government in June to halt construction of the factory in Tainan because of concerns over pollution.
Chi Mei, the world's fourth-largest flat-panel maker by revenue, is targeting monthly capacity of 30,000 flat panels at the plant once it starts operation, Chen said. That will rise to 60,000 flat panels a month by the end of next year and the plant will eventually be able to produce 90,000 flat panels a month, he said.
The company also has plans to build an eighth-generation plant, but hasn't decided when to start construction. Earliest operation would be in the middle of 2009, because it takes a year-and-a-half to build a factory, Chen said.
Shares of Chi Mei gained NT$1.30, or 2.96 percent, to NT$45.30. Sales at Chi Mei Group will climb 40 percent to NT$700 billion (US$21.6 billion) next year, Loreta Chen (陳靜燕), a Chi Mei public relations official, said by telephone yesterday, confirming a report in the Chinese-language Economic Daily News. Growth will be driven by a 25 percent to 30 percent increase in flat-panel shipments, she said.
"The demand for LCDs will continue to exceed supplies in the near term," said Andrew Wang, who helps manage US$1.3 billion at Prudential Financial Securities Investment Trust Enterprise (
Elsewhere, AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) gained 1 percent to NT$63.60.
Smaller rivals Chunghwa Picture Tubes Co (
Innolux Display Corp (
Prime View International Co (
"Prime View's purchase signals that panel makers want capacity and that suggests demand is out there," said Robyn Hsu (