Prodisc Technology, one of the top three producers of optical storage media in Taiwan, on December 12 opened a factory for blank CD-R discs in a bonded industrial zone located in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province (China), Taiwanese DigiTimes reports.
The factory is owned and operated by Prodisc Technology (Ningbo). With total investment of US$70 million, the company is a joint venture with Prodisc holding a 49% stake, parent company president Tony Hsu indicated. Hsu is now in Ningbo to attend the opening ceremony.
The factory will initially have 30 production lines for a monthly capacity of 30 million CD-R discs, with volume production to begin next month. The bonded industrial zone is one of the industrial districts offering the most incentives and relaxed regulations in China.
The factory’s products can be exported or sold in the domestic market with payment of 2% tax on imported materials and components, Hsu noted. The factory’s production will focus on OEM production for the European market and production for domestic sale under Prodisc’s own SmartBuy brand.
Prodisc’s investment in China was prompted because further expansion of its CD-R disc capacity in Taiwan is costly, back-end printing and packaging demands significant labor and China has large market potential, Hsu explained.
Including the Ningbo factory, Prodisc will have total production capacity of 140 million CD-R discs a month, the third-largest among Taiwanese makers next to CMC Magnetics’s 170 million discs and Ritek’s 150 million discs, according to Hsu.
The monthly capacity of the Ningbo factory will be gradually expanded to 60 million CD-R discs. The factory may also produce DVD-R discs and optical components, Hsu said.
In addition to its China investment, Prodisc has invested NT$4.0 billion to establish DVD+R/-R disc production lines in the second half of this year and plans to expand this capacity with an additional outlay of NT$4.0 billion in 2004.
In related news, CMC Magnetics,the largest maker of optical storage discs in Taiwan, is already seeing a return on its investment in CD-R production in China, the company’s vice president of public relations and spokesperson Andria Wong indicated.