LG Display invests $655 million to expand OLED HDTV mass production next year

Sure, LG's current 55-inch OLED HDTV is pretty pricey with a US MSRP of $12K, but that may start to change next year when panel supplier LG Display kicks its new 8G production line into full gear. LG Electronics holds a 38 percent stake in the company and although it supplies screens to many others as well, the next generation of 55EM9700s will likely be a large segment of the displays produced. Although LCD manufacturers ramped up 8G facilities capable of producing six 55-inch displays from one piece of glass in the late 2000s, oversupply caused prices to drop and manufacturing to slow down, including at LG Display.

Now, new display technology is ramping up investment again, which will see this new line installed at its P9 plant in Paju, South Korea at a cost of 706 billion won ($655 million). Based on LG's WRGB OLED evaporation process, it should be capable of working with as many as 26,000 input sheets per month once it's up to full speed in the first half of 2014. Chief competitor Samsung showed off "production" OLED HDTVs last year and plenty of demo units at CES with a mid-year release planned, we'll see if it manages to keep up before / if the tech goes mainstream.

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LG Display Announces Investment in New 8th Generation OLED TV Panel Line

Seoul, Korea (February 18, 2013) – LG Display [NYSE: LPL, KRX: 034220], a leading innovator of display technology, announced today that it has decided to invest KRW 706 billion in a new 8th generation OLED TV panel manufacturing line (2,200㎜×2,500㎜), to be installed at its P9 plant in Paju, South Korea.

The company plans to begin investment in the line, which will focus on WRGB OLED evaporation process, in the first quarter of 2013, with mass production scheduled for the first half of 2014 at a monthly capacity of 26,000 input sheets.

Leadership in OLED Technology
With introduction of the world's first 55-inch OLED TV in January 2013, LG Display has demonstrated its position as a pioneer of the OLED TV era. The company moves a step ahead in the emerging OLED TV market through new investments with a strategy of providing differentiated value to customers.

Additionally, LG Display's adoption of WRGB OLED technology addresses limitations inherent with large-sized OLED, such as productivity and lifespan issues.

Market Forecast
According to forecasts by research firm DisplaySearch, the OLED TV market will experience dramatic growth starting in 2014 to become a USD 3 billion market by 2015.