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LG.Philips to spend $5.1 billion on new flat-panel TV factory

LG.Philips plans to spend $5.1 billion to build one of the world’s largest plants for flat-panel sets, Bloomberg News reported.

The venture between South Korea's LG Electronics and the Netherlands' Royal Philips Electronics plan to begin mass production at the plant in the first half of 2006. The factory will make panels for 42in and 47in LCD sets.

LG.Philips and rivals like Samsung Electronics are investing in bigger plants to cut costs and lower prices to spur demand for LCD televisions, which can sell for as much as $5500. The market is forecast to grow 21 percent, to $43 billion, in 2005, according to the market researcher DisplaySearch.

The plant is scheduled to process 45,000 sheets of glass a month starting in the first half of 2006. Production will gradually increase to capacity, which is 90,000 sheets a month.

Samsung’s seventh-generation LCD plant, scheduled to begin production next year, will be able to cut 32in panels in a surface area six times that of a smaller fourth-generation plant at a cost that is 26 percent cheaper, according to DisplaySearch.

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