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LGE Announces Plasma Expansion

Seoul, South Korea — LG Electronics said it will invest $568 million to increase production of plasma display panels by adding a fourth production line in Gumi, South Korea.

LGE will increase plasma panel production by an additional 120,000 panels a month when the new facility goes online in the second quarter of 2005. The company’s projected 2005 volume is expected to reach 285,000 displays a month.

The new line, which LGE calls “A3,” will be part of its Gumi Display Workplace. After the first phase of construction is completed, the company will “respond flexibly to the fast-growing PDP market,” and expects to gradually add two more lines to the facility.

LGE said it would add 1,500 workers and expects to generate a total of $700 million in annual exports by 2006 through the move.

Meanwhile, LGE’s 3rd line (A2), which began operations in April, will increase its monthly capacity to 100,000 PDPs by producing four panels from a single sheet of glass, the company said.

“LGE will be able to reinforce its PDP market presence and secure a powerful driving force in grabbing the world’s No. 1 position by 2005,” according to a company statement.

LGE has announced it would spend $949 million in capital expenditure this year, and half of that would go to the production of plasma television screens and mobile phones.