Sat, Nov 24, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Chi Mei to open plant in Vietnam

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp (奇美電子), the nation's second-biggest liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panel maker, yesterday confirmed that it plans to build a multibillion dollar television and computer panel assembly line in Vietnam.

The new investment comes amid growing fears of panel shortages next year.

The Tainan-based manufacturer already has two LCD plants in Ningbo and Nanhai in China.

"We plan to build a LCM [liquid-crystal module] plant in northern Vietnam to meet increasing demand," said Loreta Chen (陳靜燕), a Chi Mei public relations official.

No firm agreement has been made yet, she said.

Chen made the remarks after the Chinese-language Economic Daily News reported yesterday that Chi Mei planned to invest several billion NT dollars in an assembly line in Vietnam next year, citing company president Ho Jau-yang (何昭陽).

Chi Mei said it needed the new facility to meet demand for panels from customers including the world's No. 2 laptop computer maker, Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶), and the nation's top electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), according to the report.

Compal said in August that the board approved the proposed NT$989 million (US$30.6 million) investment in Vietnam via a fully owned subsidiary.

Last month, Chi Mei told investors that capital spending would fall by 10 percent to 20 percent next year from as much as NT$75 billion (US$2.3 billion) this year.

By the end of next year, Chi Mei said it planned to more than double production of TV panel modules at its Nanhai plant to 1 million units a month from 200,000 units and to boost production of PC panel modules at its Ninbgo factory to 5 million units from 2.8 million.

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