Merck-plans-to-invest-20 mil.-euros-in-Korea
Merck Korea Managing Director Kim Woo-kyu, center, and representatives from Pyeongtaek City and Gyeonggi Province hold the memorandum of understanding on Merck's 20 million-euro investment in Korea on Oct. 28. Photo courtesy of Merck Korea

Tech giant will expand OLED facilities in Pyeongtaek

Merck announced on Oct. 28 that the tech giant will invest about 20 million euros in expanding its production lines of processing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) materials in Korea.

In addition, Merck Korea plans to build more facilities for sublimation and purification of OLED materials at its Pyeongtaek plant, about 70 kilometers south of Seoul.

Toward that end, Merck signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the governments of Pyeongtaek City and the surrounding Gyeonggi Province on the day.

Kai Beckmann, a board member of Merck and CEO of the firm’s Performance Materials, said that Merck is proud to announce the new investment.

By expanding our local manufacturing capacities, we’re well positioned to efficiently produce and deliver higher volumes of OLED materials,” Beckmann said.

We see our investment as a contribution to creating an agile supply chain for our customers in Korea.”

Merck Korea Managing Director Kim Woo-kyu stressed the strategically significant position of the Pyeongtaek factory.

We are pleased to expand our investment opportunities in Gyeonggi Province to provide better services to large OLED customers,” Kim said.

Gyeonggi is ideal for our investment because of its promity to our major customers and its favorable location for innovative production, excellent human resources, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and universities.”

As Beckmann and Kim pointed out, OLED is a crucial industry for Korea, the home to the world’s leading OLED players of Samsung Display and LG Display.

Originally, the two companies were powerhouses in conventional flat-panel technology of liquid crystal display (LCD). But they continue to move to more advanced OLED.

LG Display is expected to chalk up more revenue from OLED panels than LCD panels this year for the first time, according to London-based consultancy Omdia.

Samsung Display seeks a similar path. In particular, it supplies next-generation OLED panels used to roll out Samsung Electronics’ popular bendable phones _ Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip.

High-purity OLED materials are necessary for such futuristic display tech, and that’s why Merck is working on sublimation and purification facilities of OLED materials, experts explained.

Merck, which has carried out study on OLED over the past three decades, first set up a dedicated research center for the display tech in 2010 in Germany.

Expecting the paradigm shift from LCD to OLED in Korea, the company established an OLED application center in Pyeongtaek in 2015.