Matsushita Building Largest-Ever Plasma Display Panel Manufacturing Plant

Company, along with Toray, will spend $2.4 billion.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., along with chemical company Toray Industries, said Wednesday they will build a new $2.4 billion plasma display panel (PDP) manufacturing facility in Japan.

Matsushita, best known for its Panasonic brand, said it will be the fifth PDP plant in its joint venture with Toray, and plans are to build the new plant in Amagasaki, Japan, near the existing fourth plant.

Construction is scheduled to start in November 2007 and the first phase of the production in May 2009.

The plant will have a monthly production capacity of one million units (calculated based on 42-inch panels) - the largest production capacity of PDP in the world, and the investment efficiency of the new plant will be five times or greater than that of MPDP's first PDP plant, Matsushita said.

The new plant will realize as many as ten 42-inch panels, or eight 50-inch panels, from a single sheet of glass, the world's largest number of panels per sheet in PDP production.

Panasonic forecasts that with the rapid increase of the demand for flat-panel TVs due to the global digitalization of TV broadcasts, 65 percent of the 200 million world aggregate demand for TVs will be for flat-panel TVs in 2010. Panasonic also forecasts that the demand for larger-screen TVs will increase rapidly with the expansion of contents with high picture quality and creation of smaller footprint flat-panel TVs.

Further increase of the demand is expected in China and other BRICs countries where infrastructure for digital TV broadcasts will be developed, as well as in the biggest TV markets such as the U.S. and Europe.

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