South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. gained the go-ahead from the Korean authority to design and build India’s first liquid crystal display (LCD) manufacturing facility in Gen-8 substrate sheets (2250x2500mm). Even fab-advanced Taiwanese and Japanese companies have not attempted commissioning in building high-precision display facilities outside their country for fear of a technology leak.

According to industry sources on Monday, LG Electronics’ Materials and Production engineering Research Institute (PRI) received the green light from Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy on its business plan of delivering a LCD manufacturing facility on a turnkey basis in Nagpur, central India, for Twinstar Display of India’s Vedanta Group.

The Indian conglomerate pledged $10 billion to establish the country’s first LCD plant. India currently relies entirely on imports for display panels. It is in discussion with the Indian government to jointly shoulder the investment. How much LG will earn from the design, equipment supply, and construction is not immediately known.

Once it gains the final approval from the Indian state government, LG Electronics, based on panel-making expertise of its sister company and world’s top LCD player LG Display, will aim to complete construction by 2018.

LG’s PRI was primarily a research unit developing production technologies but since last year has been mass producing equipment and supplying them under its own label. It will provide the machinery to the production lines set up by LG Electronics and LG Display.

LG is eyeing a new revenue source from exporting manufacturing facilities to underdeveloped economies. LG Display is currently phasing out of the LCD business with greater focus on the lucrative OLED business.

LG hopes the panel-making facility would lead to exports of other parts and TV set facilities to India in the longer run.