Concerns are rising about potential supply disruptions to the display-making facilities run by major firms such as BOE, CSOT and Tianma that are located in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the deadly Coronavirus has originated, according to Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Jan. 29.
But the impact is expected to be limited as only CSOT’s T3 plant churns out a substantial volume of panels. Wuhan is where the firm runs production lines for LTPS LCDs. As of 2019, CSOT raised its production capacity to a monthly 50,000. As of Q3 in 2019, CSOT posted accumulated revenues of 11 billion yuan (KRW 1.86 trillion) to become the second-largest LTPS LCD maker in China.
Also in Wuhan, CSOT is running a single Gen-6 OLED production line capable of producing a monthly 15,000 panels. It began mass production in 2019, but volume is still low due to yield issues. CSOT is currently adding two more lines to its Gen-6 flexible OLED lines in Wuhan
Tianma also began mass production from its Gen-6 OLED lines in Wuhan since 2018, but volume is unsubstantial.
BOE began running its B17 plant in Wuhan towards the end of 2019. It produces Gen-10.5 LCD panels. Current volume is small, but experts say the impact could become bigger once mass production begins.
“Plants that didn’t have high operation rates to begin with are on stand-by,” said one source close to the matter. “They don’t seem to have decided on when to restart productions.”
There also doesn’t seem to be any impact on some of the display makers’ plants in Hefei City, which is about 300km away from Wuhan. BOE has Generation 6, 8 and 10.5 LCD lines in the city.
Korean suppliers AP System and Device ENG that each signed a KRW 84.8 billion and KRW 42.6 billion equipment supply deal with CSOT’s Wuhan corporation said they have not heard word on any delays to supplying the equipment this year. Device ENG also signed a KRW 11.9 billion equipment deal with Tianma’s Wuhan corporation.
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