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Developing Chunan as the Mecca of Display

Posted November. 10, 2003 22:48,   


Chunan city in Chungnam Province is starting to become known as the Mecca of the Display market, one of the fields of the ultramodern electronic industry.

Having settled on a plan to arrange an up-to-date industrial complex which can leap over Suwon City in Kyungki Province and Kumi City in Kyungbuk Province, the Chungnam Province has decided on establishing the “Display Cluster,” which will converge Chunan City and Asan City, and follow through with the plan to making a foundation to attract companies.

“When the Kyungbu rapid speed railway opens up in April 2004, and the new administration capital begins construction next to the complex, infrastructure such as transportation, education, and roads will be set up quickly in order to attract investments from companies. ‘Display Cluster’ will rise to become the representative cutting-edge industrial complex in the near future,” remarked Moon Myung-su, the chief of the advanced industry department of Chungnam Province, boasting about its rosy future.

But, the reality is far different from what the provinces originally planned. Except Chungnam Province, many other cities and provinces had given up on their own prospective future development plans through trial-and-error testing in which they did not find any companies to invest in their areas. On the other hand, in the Chunan area, the nationwide development plan and the pragmatic selection of the companies co-exist positively together, showing a fast progress in the results.

The front-runner of this development plan is Samsung Group. Samsung Electronics has already put in $8.5 billion for the Chunan industrial complex, which is currently manufacturing TFT-LCD. As the biggest TFT-LCD factory in the world, six lines consisting of 11,000 employees are producing this product.

Samsung SDI’s factory, located next to Samsung Electronics’ factory, is manufacturing the Plasma Display Panel (PDP) and rechargeable batteries. $1.6 billion has been invested into this factory, with 2,400 employees currently working there. These two factories are occupying 1.5 million square meters. Although these two companies are both divisions of the Samsung Group, they are competing with each other in the fierce battle for taking possession of the large-sized display market.

“We are in a prosperous condition. Even a 100 percent working rate cannot meet with the demands,” remarked Bae Chul-han, the vice-chief of Samsung SDI, adding “Thanks to the explosive growing strength in the display market, the Chunan area, which was originally a barren land, is starting to stand out as the Mecca of the Display market in the world.”

In Asan, Tangjung industrial complex, which is a 20-minute car trip from Chunan, Samsung Corning and Samsung Electronics are putting up a mammoth-sized LCD (liquid crystal display) manufacturing complex, 6.1 million square meters in size.

Samsung Electronics planned to put in another $17 billion into this factory until 2010, in order to establish the 7th generation production line, the next generation of the ones being made in Chunan. When this factory commences production in 2005, 10,000 employees will work there. It is expected that the scale of annual sales will easily cross over the $8.5 billion mark.

Samsung Corning, which supplies the precision glass circuit, the source material for the LCD, to Samsung Electronics, has already established its first factory at the complex, starting up the manufacturing process. This factory expects the total 2003 sales to be $4 billion. To Samsung Electronics and LG-Philips LCD, this factory is a monopoly for supplying the materials.

Except Samsung, 43 foreign companies have set up their own factories in the foreign industrial complex of Chunan, including the world’s famous appliance manufacturing company, ABB. In the national industrial complex, the branches of conglomerates such as Mirae Industrial and Daewoo Engineering have moved in recently.

Thanks to the flared-out enthusiasm of the companies, the Chungnam province, including attracting the companies related to display, computer game, media and electronic informatics, is also establishing diverse laboratories and educational facilities in Chunan for the convenience of the companies.

First of all, Chungnam Province will designate the special science field for research and development in order to set up cutting-edge technology laboratories and convenience facilities for the residents. In addition, it will establish a science high school and a foreign language high school by 2005, in order to address the educational requirements of the children of companies’ executives.

The laboratories of the engineering colleges, its branch campus, or informational technology ventures will be welcomed by this complex. Chungnam Province will help organize a close network system between the companies, conglomerates and the college laboratories.

“Though the Chungnam area is a little bit late in development, we will advance it to become the world’s best cutting-edge technology complex by referring to the model cases of the advanced countries,” remarked Moon.