LG Display To Sink Billions into OLED Plant

Is the growing OLED display market worth billions? Seoul, Korea-based LG Display apparently thinks so. The tech giant announced on Friday that it will initially invest the equivalent of $1.6 billion to start construction on a new OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panel plant in Korea.

The facility, which is expected to begin display panel production in early 2018, could cost up to $8.67 billion depending on consumer demand and market conditions. The plant will be located in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, Korea.

The company anticipates growing demand for OLED panels over the next several years. The plant will mostly make large OLED TV panels and flexible OLED panels (pictured) for smart watches and automotive displays. The investment will cover construction, foundations for the clean rooms and infrastructure for water and power supplies. Once completed, the plant will cover an area of just over 1 million square feet and stand more than 300 feet high. Plans call mostly for the installation of 9th-generation large-size OLED lines.

Booming Market

LG is expecting the lines will produce OLED in every product segment, including flexible and transparent displays. Market research firm HIS has predicted that the global OLED panel market will grow to $29.1 billion in 2022 from $8.7 billion in 2014.

Demand for flexible OLED panels in the smart watch and automotive display sectors is also rising because they promise better design flexibility than LCD panels. OLED displays can be more energy efficient than standard LCD panels because each pixel can be lit or darkened as necessary, removing the need to backlight every pixel. The fewer pixels that are used in displays, the less energy they require.

TV manufacturers in Korea, China and Japan have already released OLED TV models, with more expected to adopt the technology for their TVs soon. One such client for LG?EU?s factory...

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