SK Innovation held an investment conference on May 14 and announced that it decided to expand the second flexible copper clad laminate (FCCL) production lines in the Jeungpyeong Industrial Complex located in North Chungcheong Province. An FCCL is a key material for flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs) that are used in smart phones, tablet PCs, etc.
The global FCCL market is showing explosive growth these days at an average rate of 18% a year. The market is expected to reach a trillion won in size by 2015.
SK Innovation is planning to expand the production facilities at an investment of approximately 90 billion won before putting them into commercial operation in 2014. Once the project is completed, the company’s FCCL production capacity amounts to 9,000,000m2 per year. At present, its first production lines in the complex are manufacturing 3,500,000m2 of FCCLs each year.
The company kicked off the commercial production of FCCLs in August 2011 and took just six months from then to supply its products to Mctron Electronics, the world’s largest circuit board manufacturer. Last year, it exceeded its sales and production volume targets alike.
SK Innovation is planning to further enhance its overseas business through the production line extension while working on products of more various uses, not limited to mobile. At the same time, it is aiming to carry out more production line extension projects down the road to become the largest FCCL manufacturer in the world in or before 2020.
In the meantime, the company is striving to grow into a powerhouse in the electronic information materials sector. It developed its own lithium ion battery separator (LiBS) for the third time in the world back in 2004 and has set up a total of seven production lines during the following eight years, surpassing the 600 billion won mark in terms of cumulative sales and accounting for 19% of the global market. It is enjoying the largest and third-largest market share in the domestic and global markets, respectively. A LiBS is one of the most important parts for a lithium ion secondary battery. SK Innovation is planning to build the eighth and ninth production lines next year to solidify its market leadership, too.
In addition, it is about to obtain product certification from a local LCD manufacturer in the triacetate cellulose (TAC) film market, which is dominated by Japanese companies such as Fuji Film and Konica. “Our commercial-scale production of TAC films, which is scheduled to start within this year, will contribute greatly to Korea’s trade deficit vis-a-vis Japan and the competitiveness of its display industry,” said the company source.