Matsushita and Toray to build world’s largest plasma display factory

Japanese firms Matsushita Electric Industrial and Toray Industries will invest a combined $785.9 million to build the world’s biggest plasma display panel (PDP) factory, a Tokyo newspaper reported.

Japanese and South Korean electronics makers have been jostling to boost plasma display production and secure a larger share of the flat-panel television market, which analysts expect to grow rapidly over the next several years.

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily reported that Matsushita Plasma Display Panel (PDP) Co, owned 75 percent by electronics maker Matsushita and 25 percent by synthetic fibre maker Toray, will begin construction of the plant this summer and start production in the second half of 2005.

The plant will be located in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, in western Japan. Production will start at 100,000 panels per month in 2005 and expand to 250,000 panels in 2007, quadrupling the company’s total monthly output to 380,000 panels, the paper said.

The plant’s annual capacity in 2007 of 3 million panels would make it the world’s largest, the newspaper added.

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