Sat, Sep 10, 2005 - Page 11 News List

Micron to expand its chip assembly plant in Singapore

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Micron Technology Inc, the world's third-largest maker of computer-memory chips, plans to spend US$250 million to expand its assembly and testing plant in Singapore, Chief Executive Steve Appleton said.

Micron is expanding the Singapore plant to tap growth in Asia, which buys the largest share of chips. The Asia Pacific region in July accounted for US$8.27 billion, or 46 percent of global chip sales, the Semiconductor Industry Association said Sept. 1.

Boise, Idaho-based Micron's expansion in the city-state comes after National Semiconductor Corp, whose chips boost the battery life of mobile phones, in July said it will close its chip assembly plant in Singapore.

Industry leaders Samsung Electronics Co and Hynix Semiconductor Inc earlier forecast prices in the US$27 billion computer-memory market will rise this quarter after falling for three straight quarters, fueling optimism the global chip industry is recovering.

"The US$250 million investment in our Singapore expansion reinforces Micron's ability to meet the growing demand for semiconductors throughout the expanding Asian marketplace," Appleton said today in Singapore.

Micron expects Asia to account for 60 percent of its total sales in the next five years, up from 40 percent, Appleton said. The company budgets about US$1.5 billion for capital expenditure annually, he said.

Micron employs almost 3,000 people in Singapore and about 7,000 people in the Asia-Pacific region. The company expects to increase the number of workers in Asia by 50 percent "in the next three to five years," Appleton said.

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