(EnergyAsia, October 31, Friday) — South Korea’s LG Electronics said its board of directors has decided to convert the company’s A1 plasma panel-manufacturing line in Gumi city into solar cell production lines. LG plans to invest 220 billion won to establish two production lines by 2010. (US$1=1,400 won).

The company expects the first line to begin mass production from the first quarter of 2010, with the second line beginning full operations in the first quarter of 2011.

Both lines will manufacture crystalline silicon solar cells and modules with a capacity of 120MW each.

“Leveraging LG’s cumulative R&D knowledge in various photovoltaic technologies for the last three years as well as our mass manufacturing expertise will allow us to quickly become a global player in the solar cell and module manufacturing business,” said Kwan Shik Cho, head of LG Electronics’ solar cell business team.

LG currently operates a solar cell business team under its chief technical officer. The company has also progressively accumulated R&D knowledge to further expand its business into the solar energy industry as a new growth engine.

As a part of this strategy, LG Electronics acquired the solar cell business of its sister company, LG Chem Ltd, in June 2008.