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New Panasonic PDP Plant Ramps Up

Panasonic began production two months ahead of schedule Sept. 16 at a new plasma panel plant in Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture, western Japan.

The third plant of Matsushita Plasma Display Panel Company (MPDP) — a joint venture between Panasonic and Toray Industries — will be used “to fulfill the accelerating world demand for large-screen flat-panel TVs as well as to gear up for the year-end shopping season,” the company said.

Capacity at the plant was to initially allow for 125,000 units a month, boosting Panasonic’s total PDP production capacity to 295,000 units per month, or 3.54 million units per year, the company said.

MPDP also has plants in Osaka, Japan, and Shanghai, China. When the third plant begins operating at its full capacity of 250,000 units per month by March 2007, Panasonic’s total production capacity will exceed 5 million units per year.

Plasma TVs account for over 90 percent of the global flat-panel TV market for displays measuring 37W inches and larger, and is expected to grow further, according to Panasonic forecasts.

Panasonic expects that the global PDP demand will reach 12 million by March 2008 and more than 15 million by March 2009.