Taiwanese PCB manufacturers have generally been concentrated in Dongguan of Guangdong Province, followed by Kunshan of Jiangsu Province. The government says that it intends to restrain wastewater discharge by 20% to improve the water quality of rivers next year. Although the local government finally decided to halt, the expansion of PCB manufacturers will surely no longer be in Dongguan and Kunshan considering the wastewater discharge issue. Currently, flex board manufacturers, such as Tripod and Uniflex, have proposed investing in the entire plant in Xiantao, Hubei Province and Nantong, Jiangsu Province, respectively; Compeq also has plans to increase the capacity of Chongqing Plant, as well as to build a new plant.
This year, PCB manufacturers have a plan to expand mainly for the purpose of improving the existing efficiency of capacity. It is noteworthy that PCB manufacturers have avoided building new plants and capacity in East and South China. According to PCB manufacturers, restraining wastewater discharge may only be a matter of time; therefore, adjusting capacity and production lines is imperative.
The demand for the PCB industry was high in 2017. Compeq had a capital expenditure of NT$4~5 billion in 2017, mainly for the expansion of HDI Anyer. Meanwhile, the Chongqing Plant of Compeq had a monthly capacity of 0.4 million feet in terms of HDI Anyer. With the capital expenditure in 2017, the capacity in 2018 will increase by 80,000~100,000 feet. The Chongqing Plant of Compeq is currently at capacity, and a new plant is expected to be built this year. In 2018, the expenditure will be no less than NT$4~5 billion; furthermore, the production of SLP this year is expected to increase the capacity of Compeq through debottlenecking, while production of rigid-flex boards is expanding based on market needs.
Gold Circuit Electronics Ltd. (GCE) currently has Chungli Plant, Suzhou Plant, ChangShu Plant I, and ChangShu Plant II, with a total monthly capacity of 4 million square feet in terms of PCB. Its plants in China still remain in the Yangtze River Delta and specialize in debottlenecking. In 2018, NT$500~600 million will be invested in production intelligence and automation without a plan for large-scale expansion.
The FCCL manufacturer Taiflex plans to invest US$35 million (equivalent to NT$1 billion) in a new plant in Rudong Township, Nantong City in Jiangsu Province. The construction is expected to be completed in Q119, and the new plant is expected to start operation in Q219. The construction of the new plant in Kaohsiung has also been completed, and the plant is expected to start operation next year.
After receiving orders from Korean manufacturers, Uniflex, the flex board and IC substrate manufacturer, will invest NT$1.2 billion in a new plant in Taizhou, Jiangsu Province in 2018 and 2019; the new plant is expected to start operation in Q219 with an initial capacity of 20,000 square meters and a monthly revenue increase of NT$150~200 million. In 2017, Uniflex had a capital expenditure of NT$300 million; in 2018 and in 2019, the capital expenditure is estimated to be NT$284 million and NT$1 billion, respectively. Of the total capital expenditure of NT$1.4 billion from this year and next year, NT$1.2 billion will be used to acquire 200 acres for a new plant in Taizhou, Jiangsu Province. Due to the orders from Korean manufacturers, Uniflex will supply its high-end flex boards for new-generation OLED panels. In Q219, the Taizhou Plant of Uniflex will have a capacity of 20,000 square meters in the first phase in terms of flex boards, followed by another 20,000 square meters in the second phase. (Source: cnYES).