HSINCHU, Taiwan, Feb. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409;NYSE: AUO) announced today that AUO Crystal Corp. ("ACC"), one of AUO's subsidiary companies, will establish a solar wafer plant in Taiwan's Chungkang Export Processing Zone, under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), to strengthen its strategic position for solar materials in the upstream and enhance technological developments. The groundbreaking ceremony of the first-phase construction was held today. The equipments are expected to be moved in this August, with mass production planned in the fourth quarter. The first-phase capacity of multicrystalline ingots and wafers is expected to achieve 300 megawatts (MW). In the future, ACC will play a critical role in providing stable supplies of upstream solar materials to secure its proprietary R&D and smelting technologies of polysilicon, and offer high-quality and high-efficiency materials to solar cell makers.
AUO Chairman Mr. K.Y. Lee and ACC Chairman Mr. Max Cheng attended ACC's groundbreaking ceremony today with Director Mau-Shin Hsiu of MOEA's Chungkang Export Processing Zone Administration. "ACC is one of the few manufacturers in the solar industrial chain equipped with M.Setek's high-quality polysilicon manufacturing technology, which can provide the total solution including polysilicon, ingot, and wafer to customers. Incorporating M.Setek's high-quality technology and solar talents from the upstream in Taiwan, ACC not only secures the high-end technology of producing monocrystalline ingots and wafers but also develops high-quality multicrystalline ingots and wafers with its own technologies. ACC will provide customers with even more diverse products and better services in the coming future," said Chairman Lee.
Mr. Lee also pointed out, while establishing its global presence, AUO also commits itself to long-term investment in Taiwan. In addition to its plan of building Taichung to become AUO's solar business operation center, with continuous investments in new facilities, the Company focuses even more on the cultivation of local talents and local industry development. ACC's presence in the Chungkang Export Processing Zone is estimated to create 1,000 job opportunities in the next three years.
The first phase construction of the ACC facility in Chungkang Export Processing Zone is around three hectares, and the total area after expansion will be 8.5 hectares. The equipment move-in is scheduled to take place this August with mass production planned in the fourth quarter. The initial capacity of multicrystalline ingots and wafers is estimated to reach 300 MW and will be increased gradually based on market demands. ACC will integrate R&D resources and technologies in the upstream of the solar industry to provide stable solar materials. It will also devise mid- to long-term marketing strategies to meet the demands of the global solar market. Through the vertical integration of the solar supply chain, ACC will be able to provide customers with a full line of products and better services and support.
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ABOUT AU OPTRONICS
AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) is a global leader of thin film transistor liquid crystal display panels (TFT-LCD). AUO is able to provide customers with a full range of panel sizes and comprehensive applications, offering TFT-LCD panels in sizes ranging from 1.2 inches to greater than 71 inches. AUO generated NT$467.2 billion in sales revenue in 2010 (US$16 billion) with global operations in Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the U.S., and Europe. Additionally, AUO is the first pure TFT-LCD manufacturer to be successfully listed at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). AUO extended its market to the green energy industry in late 2008. The Display and Solar businesses were established respectively as the Company's two core businesses in October, 2010. For more information, please visit AUO.com.
* 2010 year end revenue converted at an exchange rate of NTD29.14:USD1.
ABOUT AUO Crystal Corporation
AUO Crystal Corporation (ACC), a subsidiary company of AU Optronics, is a solar material provider. ACC incorporates M.Setek's 28 years of experience manufacturing silicon wafers and its unique technology. ACC posses the strength of manufacturing of polysilicon, ingot, and wafer products so that owns the key to producing high-efficiency solar cell.
Safe Harbour Notice
AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409;NYSE: AUO), a global leader of TFT-LCD panels, today announced the above news. Except for statements in respect of historical matters, the statements contained in this Release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements were based on our management's expectations, projections and beliefs at the time regarding matters including, among other things, future revenues and costs, financial performance, technology changes, capacity, utilization rates, yields, process and geographical diversification, future expansion plans and business strategy. Such forward looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including risks related to the flat panel display industry, the TFT-LCD market, acceptance of and demand for our products, technological and development risks, competitive factors, and other risks described in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in our Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on May 11th, 2010.
SOURCE AU Optronics Corporation