Chimei Materials kicks off Kunshan plant project
Central News Agency
2014-06-07 12:18 PM
Taipei, June 7 (CNA) Chimei Materials Technology Corp. one of Taiwan's leading makers of polarizer film used to reduce the reflections in liquid crystal display panels, has kicked off a project to build a plant in Kunshan, Jiangsu province to meet rising demand in the China market. Chimei Materials said it will invest US$298 million in the project to build two polarizer film production lines. The factory will become operational in the first quarter of 2016. Once the Kunshan plant reaches full operation, Chimei Materials' overall production will be boosted by more than 50 percent, it said. The company said that with Taiwan's Investment Commission approving an application for the first phase investment in the Kunshan plant on May 23, Chimei Materials has started construction of the new production base. Chimei Materials said the plant was necessary as flat panel suppliers in China will raise their production over the next two years, and as demand for polarizer films is expected to increase accordingly. It added that the Kunshan plant will take advantage of the geographic proximity of having a plant in China, to provide better services to its Chinese clients. The company said that China is pushing for an initiative to strengthen production of its own industrial materials, including polarizer films, by raising import tariffs on polarizer films to 8 percent in 2014, from the previous 6 percent. So, it added, the Kunshan plant project is necessary for Chimei Materials to boost its competitiveness in the huge China market. As more and more suppliers in the global optoelectronics industry have been relocating themselves to China for a larger share of the market, the company set up its first foothold in Ningbo, Zhejiang province in 2006, according to Chimei Materials. In its production base in Ningbo, Chimei Materials is gearing up to adopt automation to lower its operating costs, the company said. Chimei Materials said it has intensified efforts to upgrade its polarizer film production technology to cater to large-sized TV panel makers and in-plane switching (IPS) monitor manufacturers. The company added that it has received certifications for the new products and started shipments of them. Meanwhile, in an annual general meeting held Friday, shareholders approved a proposal from Chemei Materials to issue a cash dividend of NT$0.50 (US$0.02) and a stock dividend of NT$0.50 for 2013. Last year, Chimei Materials posted NT$2.43 billion in net profit or NT$4.98 in earnings per share on consolidated sales of NT$17.9 billion. (By Pan Chi-i and Frances Huang)
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