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CPT expanding LCD panel, cover glass capacity in China

    Taiwan-based LCD panel maker Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) is expanding its operations in southeastern China.

CPT has disclosed that its Fujina-based joint-venture Kornerstone Materials Technology (KMTC), which makes alumino-silicate cover glass, is installing a 5.5G furnace which will come into operation by the end of 2016.

CPTsaid its wholly-owned TFT-LCD panel subsidiary, Fujian Hua-chia-cai, is under construction and will begin production in mid-2017.

The investment in production of cover glass is because CPT-produced panels used in mobile devices, automotive displays and industrial control systems need to use 2.5D or 3D cover glass, CPT said.

KMTC began operation of a 4.5G furnace in the first phase with investment of CNY1.1 billion (US$175 million) in 2014 and has fully utilized the capacity, CPT noted. KMTC is adding a 5.5G furnace in the second phase with investment of CNY1.8 billion, CPT indicated.

Despite seeing operating loss, KMTC is expected to swing into profitability in early 2017 after the 5.5G furnace comes into operation, CPT said.

CPT cited IHS as indicating 49 million 3D cover glass panels will be shipped globally to take up 3.1% of all cover glass panels in 2016, and the global shipments will increase to 100 million units for a 5.6% share in 2017 and to 163 million units for nearly 8%. The proportion of all cover glass production value for 3D models will reach 13.3% in 2016, 22.6% in 2017 and nearly 30% in 2018, CPT added.

Fujian Hua-chia-cai is setting up a 6G factory with investment of CNY12 billion and will start production of a-Si TFT-LCD panels in the first phase in mid-2017 and plans to produce IGZO-based OLED panels at the factory in the second phase, CPT indicated.

CPT in June shipped 46,000 large-size panels, dropping 39.0% on month and 10.7% on year, and 32.43 million small- to medium-size panels, declining 10.7% on month and 13.7% on year.

CPT has reported consolidated revenues of NT$3.171 billion (US$97.9 million) for June, decreasing 3.36% on month and 11.67% on year. Consolidated revenues for second-quarter 2016 totaled NT$9.657 billion, growing 2.04% sequentially but falling 15.66% on year, and those of NT$19.121 billion for January-June slipped 22.53% on year.