Taipei, March 27 (CNA) The output of Taiwan's light emitting diode (LED) streetlight manufacturing sector is expected to reach as much as NT$34 billion (US$1.15 billion) by 2018, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Tuesday.
Based on the government's efforts to replace the current mercury vapor streetlights with LED models, the production value of the LED streetlight sector is expected to account for 20 percent of the global total by 2018, according to an assessment released by the MOEA's Bureau of Energy.
Since the start of this year, the government has been pushing for the installation of LED street lights, which is expected to help the LED sector build a supply chain as well as create clusters of manufacturers in a bid to strengthen Taiwan's global competitiveness, the bureau said.
Under the projects, the government is expected to spend about NT$2.8 billion to install more than 326,000 LED street lights around the island.
The production value of the local LED lighting sector in 2011 jumped to NT$186.7 billion from NT$93.9 billion in 2009, the bureau said.
Although the global financial turmoil that resulted from the debt crisis in the eurozone rocked the world's economy last year, the output of Taiwan's LED lighting sector rose 11 percent from a year earlier, the bureau said.
Globally, the output of the LED lighting sector for 2012 is expected to rise 23 percent from the previous year to US$39 billion (NT$1.15 trillion) on the back of demand, which will be boosted by more affordable products.
The bureau said the fast growing LED lighting sector has encouraged many local investors to pour in massive funds. Formosa Plastics Group, one of Taiwan's leading conglomerates, is one such investor. It is planning to set up the world's first automatic LED lighting production line, which is scheduled to become operational in June.
In addition, Taiwan-based Leadray Energy Co. launched an LED lighting production base in Miaoli County on March 23, while several other local high tech heavyweights, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., have entered the LED business, the bureau noted.
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Frances Huang)