LG Display has shut down its Gumi P4 plant that produces liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). This came after LG Display Vice Chairman Han Sang-beom announced in July to close its P2, P3 and P4 lines in Gumi by the end of this year. Accordingly, industry sources say that LG Display, which bets on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, is accelerating the phase-out of LCD.
Currently, LG Display says it will not use its P2, P3 and P4 lines for another use. However, some market watchers forecast that the production lines can be converted into the production base of high value added products, such as OLEDs, mega-sized and high-resolution LCDs, in the future.
According to LG Display’s quarterly report on November 15, the company shut down its 5th-generation LCD plant P4 in Gumi last month. Considering the fact that it already closed its 3.5-generation LCD plant P2 and is to shut down the 4th-generation LCD plant P3 by the end of the year, LG Display now has the only one plant that manufactures lower than 5th-generation LCDs, P5. Han said, “There will be no additional investment in LCDs for now. There are high-end customers who want high-resolution products. We do have plans for complementary investment.”
LG Display focuses on quickly turning into OLEDs while maintaining its LCD business that can make money at the moment. The company has the 8th-generation plants, including the P8 and the P9 in Paju, as the main production lines, introducing differentiated products such as mega-sized and high-resolution UHD TVs and monitors. It will invest a total of 20 trillion won (US$18.08 billion) in the OLED sector – the P10 and E6 lines in Paju, the E5 in Gumi and the one in Guangzhou, China – by 2020.
Meanwhile, LG Display has been recently increasing orders for OLED production equipment in order to expand its small and mid-size OLED panel production. According to DB Securities, LG Display’s investments in OLED facilities next year are estimated at 8.5 trillion won (US$7.68 billion), up 21.4 percent from this year.
Accordingly, LG Display will place more orders for small and mid-size OLED production equipment next year so that it can manufacture 37,500 panels a month. Previously, the company placed the production equipment that can make 15,000 panels a month in 2016 and 30,000 panels a month in 2017. LG Display announced in October that it plans to make a 15 trillion won (US$13.56 billion) investment in expanding OLED production facilities by 2019.