LG Display has announced an additional 3 trillion won ($2.54 billion) investment - its largest to date - to increase OLED production capacity at its upcoming next-generation 10.5G OLED line.
Supersized OLED displays
With the release of its earnings report for Q2 2019, LG Display announced a large additional investment into its 10.5G OLED line that will enable "next-generation display technology such as supersized, rollable and transparent displays".
- "LG Display announced today an additional investment of KRW 3 trillion into its Gen 10.5 OLED line in its P10 fab in Paju, Korea. The company plans to solidify its leadership in the OLED business through competitive OLED productivity and continues to create new value with next-generation display technology such as supersized, rollable and transparent displays," the company announced.
With the additional investment, production capacity at the 10.5 generation OLED line at the P10 plant in Paju, Korea, will increase from 30,000 sheets per month in the first half of 2022 to 45,000 sheets per month in the first half of 2023. The P10 line will mainly produce OLED panels sized 65 inches and larger.
- "The company will mainly produce 65-inch and above supersized OLED panels from the Gen 10.5 production line. It will start producing 30,000 sheets per month from the first half of 2022. An additional 15,000 sheets per month will be produced from the first half of 2023."
This is the largest investment in the P10 plant to date. In November 2015, LG Display invested 1.84 trillion won followed by 2.8 trillion won in July 2017. The additional 3 trillion won investment in the 10.5G OLED line sums up to a total investment of 7.64 trillion won (approx. $6.5 billion).
The announcement comes at a time where Samsung is rumored to soon enter the OLED TV market with its 'QD-OLED' technology. Earlier this month, Korean newspaper The Elec reported that Samsung "is on the verge of launching its so-called ‘Project C,’ which involves investing in large-sized OLED panels for televisions". The company is expected to reach a decision "by August at the latest".
LG Display, who supplies LG, Sony, Panasonic and other manufacturers with TV panels, saw its revenues decrease 5% year-on-year in Q2 2019 and its operating loss widen. The company attributes this to falling LCD TV panel prices as well as "macroeconomic concerns and uncertainty such as the trade war between the US and China".
TV panels now account for 41% of revenue, up 5% points "thanks to the sales portion increase in OLED TV panels", the company said. With the big new investment, LG Display will "step up its efforts to shift towards a more OLED-focused business".
In recent years, consumers have been turning their attention towards even larger TVs of 65 inches and above, and with the transition to 8K this trend is expected to continue. In the 65+ inch segment, the competitiveness of OLED remains weak as the 77 and 88 inch panels are prohibitively expensive. The company hopes to solve this challenge once the P10 factory begins operation.
- "LG Display expects to solidify its competitiveness in the supersized TV market once it completes its Gen 10.5 OLED production facility," the company said.
The 10.5G P10 will be LG Display's third OLED TV factory after its two 8.5G factories located in South Korea and China. The new factory in China will begin full operations in August 2019.
- Source: LG Display, Pulsenews, Yonhap, The Elec