Friday, February 09, 2018
South Korea's major tech companies will invest a combined 80.4 trillion won (US$74 billion), the industry ministry said Thursday, amid rising demand for semiconductors and displays.
Samsung Electronics Co. will invest 14.4 trillion won in Pyeongtaek, the proposed site of a second chip production line, from 2018 to 2021, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said.
The announcement by the ministry came a day after the Management Committee -- the top decision-making body at Samsung Electronics -- approved a preliminary investment plan to set up a second chip production.
The city, located 70 kilometers south of Seoul, is already the home of Samsung's chip production line, which began churning out chips in July 2017.
Samsung Electronics' decision marks the first major investment since its Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong was released from prison earlier this week after being locked up for nearly a year over a bribery scandal that led to the ousting of former President Park Geun-hye.
Also Thursday, the ministry said Samsung Electronics will invest 6 trillion won in its chip production line in Hwaseong, just south of Seoul, from 2018 to 2020.
Samsung Electronics has a chip production line in Xian, China, and another chip production line in Austin, Texas.
SK hynix Inc., South Korea's second-largest chipmaker, plans to invest 15.5 trillion won for the production of NAND flash memory in Cheongju, about 140 kilometers southeast of the capital city. The investment will be made from 2017 to 2024.
NAND flash memory refers to chips used mostly in digital cameras, USB flash drives, cell phones and music players, such as Apple Inc.'s iPod.
SK hynix also plans to start investing another 15.5 trillion won at its facilities in Icheon, about 80 kilometer southeast of Seoul, in 2019.
Samsung Electronics dominates the global market of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), with a 48.5 percent market share, followed by SK hynix with 27 percent.
Samsung Electronics holds a market share of 38 percent in the NAND flash memory market, followed by Japan's industrial giant Toshiba with 16.6 percent and Western Digital with 16 percent.
Meanwhile, Samsung Display and LG Display -- the two major flat panel makers in South Korea -- began investments worth 14 trillion won and 15 trillion won, respectively, at their plants.
The investments in Samsung Display and LG Display are set to be completed in 2019 and 2020, respectively, according to the ministry.
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