Merck Group Taiwan yesterday said that it plans to invest substantially on expanding its fab in Kaohsiung’s Lujhu District (路竹) to better serve its local customers, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電).
The company said it plans to expand its production space by 50 percent in the next five years and its workforce by about 40 percent, Merck Group Taiwan managing director Dick Hsieh (謝志宏) told a media briefing in Taipei.
Hsieh declined to disclose investment details, but said that the latest investment would exceed the total amount Merck has invested in Taiwan over the past few years.
Those investments would be made to address the local semiconductor material market, the largest in the world with a market value of US$11.3 billion last year, Merck said, citing statistics from industrial trade group SEMI.
Taiwan has occupied the top spot for the past 10 years, SEMI said on Tuesday.
Merck has been actively expanding into the semiconductor materials market through acquisitions in recent years, Suresh Rajaraman, senior vice president and business field head of thin film solutions, said yesterday.
The company acquired Versum Materials Inc, an Arizona-based semiconductor materials supplier, in October last year after acquiring special chemical supplier AZ Electronics Materials SA in 2014.
Those acquisitions helped Merck broaden its product portfolio to include the materials, chemicals and gas used in the seven major steps in manufacturing chips, it said.
Merck set up a new lab at its Kaohsiung manufacturing campus soon after its acquisition of Versum Materials. Next year, one production line would be allocated to Kaohsiung and more materials would be produced in Taiwan, Merck said.
Merck said it is also developing new directed self-assembly material for 3-nanometer technology and even more advanced technologies.
Merck operates fabs and labs in 10 locations in Taiwan, including Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, with a workforce of 1,000.
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