LG factory fire could cause millions of dollars in damage

11:31 | 09/04/2018
LG Display, one of the world's largest flat panel producers, suspended its production lines for 14 hours due to a fire at its main complex north of Seoul, which may effect market supply dynamics and panel price.
lg factory fire could cause millions of dollars in damage
The LG plant in South Korea could wreak havoc on the global market

According to the latest reports, production returned to normal on Thursday morning last week. The fire broke out at an underground construction site for waste treatment facilities when workers were cutting steel near tanks packed with foamed polystyrene. Nine workers were treated in a hospital after inhaling smoke, but no serious injuries were reported.

The company said it has not yet determined the damage caused by the suspended production. However, industry watchers said the damage could be in the millions of US dollars.

It will have a certain impact on the market’s supply-demand situation and panel prices because LG Display operates an 8.5G production line in Paju with a monthly capacity of 500,000 panels, making it one of its major manufacturing sites.

Prices of TV panels fell by between 1.2 and 1.6 per cent per unit between the first and second halves of the month, continuing a downtrend that has lasted for nine months.

In the first quarter, the prices of TV panels dropped by 3-13 per cent on-quarter, with 65-inch TV panels seeing the largest decline.

LG Display is currently shipping OLED TV panels to 13 TV makers—including LG Electronics, Sony, Philips, and Panasonic. Sony sold about 200,000 OLED TVs in 2017 (all with LGD's Crystal Sound OLED technology)—and the company aims to sell 400,000 OLED TVs in 2018.

LG Display will also start supplying panels to China's HiSense, which the company hopes will be a major OLED panel customer.

By Phuong Thu

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