Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) Taiwanese flat panel makers have the technological edge over their Chinese rivals, and may see fairer competition with South Korea
's Samsung Electronics Co. after it spins off its LCD division, an executive of Taiwan-based AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) said Thursday. AUO President Paul Peng made the remarks when the company announced earlier in the day its Green Ark project, which is aimed at slashing carbon emissions at its factories by 25 percent by 2015. Responding to the media report that Taiwanese flat panel makers face greater challenges because of Samsung's spinoff plan, Peng said the financial condition of the new company can be more transparent as a result. Peng said the new LCD company's costs can no longer be absorbed by the Samsung group and it will likely face pressure to find customers for its products outside the group. As for Chinese rivals' 8.5G factories that recently started productions, Peng said these companies mainly focus on mainstream products of 32-inch panels and lack the 7.5G capacity, products of which are more in demand in the current market. Prices of products from 7.5G plants, including 24-inch panels used in PC screens and TVs, and 40-inch and 42-inch panels for TV sets, are on the rise, Peng added. Meanwhile, Peng suggested the Taiwan government include the flat panel sector in trade talks with China
under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement. Since there have been reports about China
's possible plan to end the 3 percent preferential import tariff on LCD panels of 32 inches and larger and further raise the overall import tax on the products later this year, Peng said the inclusion would be a more ideal solution for Taiwanese manufacturers. On AUO's green initiative announced that day, Peng said it requires long-term efforts, and the company has been working on energy-saving measures and minimizing packaging to cut down waste. Peng added that over 90 percent of the used water at AUO's 8.5G plants is recycled. AUO's 8.5G plant in the Central Taiwan Science Park has been certified gold under the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED rating system, while the plant in Taichung's Howli District has received a higher platinum rating, the company said.
(By Pan Chi-i and Kay Liu)