[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics said on Feb. 7 that it is considering commencing construction on a new semiconductor production line in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. The project is said to be in line with Samsung’s efforts to pick up on prolonged investment plans now that its de facto leader Lee Jae-yong is out of prison.
Samsung’s new chip plant will be located near its first semiconductor production line in the city. High-end V-NAND and DRAM chips are being produced there at the moment.
Samsung's new production line in Pyeongtaek
Samsung is estimated to spend around 29.6 trillion won (US$27.2 billion) on the project, considering that it had spent a similar amount setting up its first Pyeongtaek semiconductor line.
“The details, including the type of products to be churned out, investment scale, and production schedule, will be finalized soon,” a Samsung official said.
Announcing its fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 31, Samsung forecast that DRAM and NAND flash chip shipments would increase around 20 percent and 40 percent on-year, respectively, in 2018.
Samsung spent 62.9 percent of its record 43.4 trillion won capital spending last year on semiconductor facilities.
Although Samsung’s total capital expenditure this year is expected to decrease, the company will spend more on the chip business than last year, according to market officials.
The tech giant suffered a leadership vacuum while Lee was behind bars for allegedly bribing former President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil in return for business favors.
A Seoul district court handed down a five-year prison term for Lee, the only son of the ailing Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, in August last year, but on Feb. 5, the nation’s top court reduced the sentence to 2 1/2 years with a four-year probation.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org