Construction began on Tuesday on China's first liquid crystal display (LCD) glass production line, which may end the country's complete dependence on imported LCD glass.
Irico Group Corporation, the biggest state-owned color display device producer based in Xianyang City, Shaanxi Province, will invest 1.3 billion yuan (US$166 million) in the project.
"The company will build a production line for thin-film technology (TFT) LCD glass with an annual capacity of 750,000 square meters in the first stage," said Xing Daoqin, general manager of the company.
The first stage will be completed in 12 months at a cost of 700 million yuan (US$89 million).
"The plant will break the monopoly of foreign enterprises and end China's history of relying on imported TFT-LCD glass," said Vice Minister of Information Industry Lou Qinjian at the ground-breaking ceremony.
Since the 1990s, China has established a number of TFT-LCD product manufacturing lines, but none can produce the glass for TFT-LCD products.
Currently, only a few companies in Japan, the United States and Germany produce TFT-LCD glass.
(Xinhua News Agency January 17, 2007)