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SVA considers high-tech LCD line
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SVA Group may build a liquid crystal display panel plant in Shanghai for the more-advanced 40-inch-plus LCD TV market, China's second-largest LCD maker said yesterday.

The company also plans to build a third production line with updated technology.

The moves will help Shanghai-based SVA to catch up with foreign rivals like Samsung and Sharp in the booming LCD TV panel market, industry insiders said.

SVA plans to build a so-called sixth-generation or 7.5-generation LCD panel line in Shanghai and will make the decision soon, Fu Xinhua, SVA Group's president, said during a forum at FPD China 2008, which closes today.

SVA plans to build the third line "two or three years" after the latest line is completed, an SVA official who declined to be identified told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

Previously, SVA announced it will invest US$6 billion to build an LCD industry park including a sixth-generation line, which is designed to produce 32-inch panels.

A sixth-generation LCD panel line costs about US$2 billion and the 7.5-generation requires much more, experts said. Foreign rivals operate 7.5-generation or eighth-generation lines with volume production for 40-inch, 46-inch and 47-inch LCD TVs.

"The LCD monitor panel profit margin has been squeezed. To ease the dependence (on large LCD panels) from foreign giants, China should have advanced production lines," said Zhang Bing, an analyst at DisplaySearch, a US-based IT consulting firm.

Chinese consumers favor "big-screen and high-definition" TVs, and the Beijing Olympic Games will fuel demand, according to another US research firm iSuppli.

SVA Group has established a joint venture with NEC to operate a fifth LCD panel line, which mainly produces panels for LCD monitors or laptops.

During the FPD China show for the industry in Shanghai yesterday, SVA displayed a model of the industry park in Xinzhuang Industrial Park.

(Shanghai Daily March 13, 2008)

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