Sat, Oct 06, 2018 - Page 12 News List

GlobalWafers to build new 12-inch fab in South Korea

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

GlobalWafers Co (環球晶圓), the world’s third-largest silicon wafer supplier, yesterday said that its board of directors has decided to build a new advanced fab in South Korea for US$438 million to meet strong demand.

The much-anticipated fab, the company’s fifth 12-inch fab in Asia, is set to enter volume production in 2020, one year earlier than GlobalWafers’ original plan, it said.

The company said it plans to build a fab with production capacity of 150,000 12-inch wafers per month adjacent to an existing GlobalWafers fab in Cheonan, 80km south of Seoul.

“Demand is so strong that we have to build the new fab ahead of schedule. The business outlook remains intact,” GlobalWafers spokesperson Lee Chung-wei (李崇偉) told the Taipei Times by telephone, shrugging off market rumors about softening demand.

“The new fab will be fully utilized once it starts production based on the orders on hand. All our capacity is earmarked for clients with long-term supply relationships with the firm,” Lee said.

With Hynix SK Inc and Winbond Electronics Corp (華邦電) recently breaking ground on new plants, silicon wafer demand should increase, Lee said, adding: “Those are potential orders for us.”

The uptake of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IOT) and autonomous cars would increase demand for microprocessors and memory chips, and subsequently the consumption of silicon wafers, he said.

The Hsinchu-based company said its capacity is fully booked until 2020 and it would start to negotiate new supply contracts with clients for deliveries from 2021 to 2025.

The average selling prices of the company’s products would continue to increase, as prices for new contracts would likely be equal to, or slightly higher than current prices, the firm said in August.

GlobalWafers reported a 3.5 percent decline in revenue to NT$5.01 billion (US$162.45 million) last month, from a record-high NT$5.19 billion in revenue in August.

That brought the firm’s third-quarter revenue to an all-time high of NT$15.16 billion, up 5.5 percent from NT$14.37 billion in the second quarter of the year, GlobalWafers said yesterday.

The firm has seen its quarterly revenue break records for 11 straight quarters.

In the first nine months of the year, cumulative revenue totaled NT$43.44 billion, up 28.65 percent from same period last year.

GlobalWafers shares yesterday closed at NT$275 in Taipei trading, down 18.28 percent from last week’s close.

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