Tue, Jul 02, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Government to approve land use soon: Largan

LAND HUNGRY:The handset camera lense maker said it needs to build factories to meet rising demand and said the state will greenlight its development plans very soon

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Largan Precision Co (大立光), the nation’s leading handset camera lense maker, yesterday said it expects to receive government approval soon to develop a plot of land at the Taichung City Precision Machinery Innovation Technology Park so it can build plants to expand its production capacity.

The company, headquartered in Greater Taichung, filed an application with the government in December last year to build factories to meet rising client demand.

“Both the Industrial Development Bureau [IDB] and the Greater Taichung Government have assisted Largan in finding land on which to construct factories,” a Largan spokesperson told the Taipei Times on condition of anonymity yesterday.

“We expect to obtain the permission for the land in less than one or two months,” she said.

Largan’s total investment of NT$10.2 billion (US$340.59 million) in its expansion efforts is expected to add NT$20 billion in value to the nation’s exports a year and create 5,000 jobs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said last year after approving the company’s investment plan.

Largan is aiming to increase its capacity to 100 million handset camera lenses a month with the planned plant in Greater Taichung, a significant rise from the current 50 to 70 million units, according to the ministry.

However, the company ran into difficulties when it tried to secure the Greater Taichung Government’s approval for the plot of land at the park.

The land that Largan wants is in a special zone of the industrial park that despite being reserved by the local government for companies to use for “industrial purposes,” has only recently been opened to companies.

In addition, Largan said it hoped the local government would change the rules governing the usage of another plot of land that Largan’s headquarters building sits on to make it eligible only for industrial, not commercial, purposes.

“Largan needs to expand its capacity and we also want to install machinery in our headquarters so every resource we have can be used as efficiently as possible,” the spokesperson said.

In addition to to Apple Inc and HTC Corp (宏達電), Largan began supplying handset camera lenses to Samsung Electronics Co this year, Largan chief executive Adam Lin (林恩平) told investors earlier in the year.

Largan is not the only Taiwanese company facing difficulty in obtaining land to build factories domestically.

Touch-panel maker TPK Holding Co (宸鴻) and integrated circuit packaging and testing services provider Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc (ASE, 日月光半導體) have also had problems finding suitable land to develop.

The IDB yesterday said it is making progress in helping businesses overcome the obstacles they face in finding land. However, the bureau declined to confirm if TPK and ASE have resolved their particular issues on this matter.

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