Solar Applied Materials Technology Co (SOLAR, 光洋應用材料), a part of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) “green supply chain,” has pledged to invest NT$1 billion (US$34.1 million) to build a new plant at the Tainan Technology Industrial Park (台南科技工業區), the Ministry of Economic Affairs said yesterday.
SOLAR has been collaborating with TSMC to extract precious metals from waste and reuse them as “sputtering target” material in high-end semiconductor manufacturing, a TSMC press release issued in May said.
Established in 1978, SOLAR also offers key materials and integrated services to customers in the optoelectronics, information and communications technology, petrochemicals and consumer electronics industries, information on the company’s Web site says.
Ho Kun-sung (何坤松), chief operating officer and spokesman for the ministry’s InvesTaiwan Service Center, said that the new plant would be the first facility of its kind in Taiwan and would satisfy the demand for sputtering target material for the semiconductor industry for the next five to 10 years.
The new plant is expected to be completed in the second quarter of next year, the center said.
SOLAR’s investment is part of the government’s Invest in Taiwan initiative. The company applied to be a part of the Invest in Taiwan initiative after it became a TSMC supplier, Ho said, adding that it had to commit to certain criteria to qualify.
“We want to encourage high value-added smart manufacturing in Taiwan,” Ho said. “They are not there yet, but they have made the commitment.”
The program provides favorable loan terms, talent and location scouting, and other assistance to attract investment back home.
“It was a very smooth process with Solar Applied Materials because it is a large, publicly traded company, but if smaller companies do not know how to meet the smart manufacturing requirements, we provide them with guidance,” Ho said.
Investment applications by two other firms were also approved yesterday, the ministry said.
Chia Yi Steel Co (嘉鋼精密), a metal components casting company based in Chiayi County’s Minsyong Township (民雄), plans to invest almost NT$200 million to expand its production lines and upgrade its manufacturing equipment.
Alex Global Technology Inc (亞獵士科技), the world’s largest maker of aluminium bicycle rims, is to invest NT$500 million to expand its facilities at the Tainan Shan Shang Industrial Park (臺南山上工業區).
The new facilities are to feature smart production lines that fully automate the rim production process to raise quality and lower labor costs, the ministry said.
The company has in recent years expanded into high-end forged vehicle wheels for sports and racing vehicles, the ministry said.
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