Samsung Display is reportedly in last-minute talks with Chinese display maker HKC to sell its Gen-8 LCD production line, according to industry sources on Dec. 5.
Called the 8-1 Line Phase 1 or the 8A line, its operations were halted in the middle of this year. Previously, it used to churn out a monthly 80,000 panels.
Early this year, Samsung Display launched the so-called C-Project under which it will replace the 8A line with the Q1 line, which is the first line to mass produce QD displays beginning in 2021. QD is the next phase display technology for Samsung Display, following LCD. The Q1 line will be capable of producing a monthly 30,000 panels.
Some of the equipment in the 8A line can be recycled at the Q1 line. Initially, Samsung Display had considered putting some of it in the Q1 line, but recently, it changed its mind to sell the 8A line in its entirety. At the same time, it would be all of the equipment anew at the Q1 line. The manager of the sale is its sister company Samsung C&T.
Back in 2017, Samsung Display had halted parts of the Gen-7 line (7-1) at its Asan 1 Campus to switch to the A4 small and mid-sized OLED production line. “Samsung Display melted down some of the equipment then to keep it out of China’s hands, but some of it did anyway,” said one source close to the matter.
In March this year, some of the equipment appeared to enter China, and an affiliate of China’s Efonlong said it invested 10 billion yuan (around KRW 1.69 trillion) to use some of the equipment from Samsung Display’s 7-1 line to build an LCD line. The construction will take around 2 years.
Beginning this year, Samsung Display and LG Display have both either shut down or downsized their LCD production lines. According market research firm IHS Markit, BOE will manifest the largest shipment volume of LCDs for TVs, followed by LG Display, CSOT, Innolux and Samsung Display.
In 2020, BOE will remain at the top, followed by CSOT, Innolux, HKC and LG Display. HKC plans to begin running its Gen-8.6 LCD H4 line in March 2020.
BOE’s B9 Gen-10.5 LCD line recently ramped up production capacity to a monthly 120,000 early this year, and its Gen-10.5 B17 plant began operations in September this year. Its rival CSOT now plans to max out the monthly capacity of its Gen-11 T6 plant to 90,000.
The Elec is South Korea’s No.1 tech news platform.