According to the ET sources, Samsung Display is planning to build the largest ever OLED production plant in Korea in order to further widen the gap with the fast-growing Chinese display making industry, which is rapidly increasing its potential.
"Chinese display makers are making all-out efforts to beef up production (that would lower panel prices overall). Samsung is seeking to secure an edge on production volume, technology and prices," said one source to ET on condition of anonymity.
Reportedly, the new plant will include two buildings called the A5 (for now). The building will be situated at Cheonan and Asan in South Chungcheong Province. The production capacity of these two plants is expected to touch 180,000 to 270,000 units of the sixth-generation OLED panels per month, which would be around 30% more than its A3 plant, which is currently the largest OLED plant of Samsung Display.
"Even though the plan needs to be approved at a board meeting next month, Samsung has already informed the plans to key equipment suppliers," an industry source told ET on condition of not revealing his identity.
Considering the mammoth size of the project, the investment could go up to US$1.75 billion on only the construction alone. If the company starts the construction of A5 later this year, the plant will be operational by 2019.
Samsung has already started to expand their A3 plant since 2015 in order to successfully complete Apple's order. The display maker has increased the production of OLED panels by 135,000 units per month mostly for its sister company Samsung Electronics and Apple. The A3 expansion is still going on, which is expected to be completed by October this year.
As per sources, Samsung will speed up the construction of A5 compared to A3.