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Taiwan’s GlobalWafers to Spend $5bn on US Silicon Wafer Plant

GlobalWafers said the plant, which will make 300-milimetre silicon wafers, will start being built this year and it will generate up to 1,500 jobs in Sherman, Texas

A worker inspects chips at the semiconductor packaging firm Unisem (M) Berhad plant in Ipoh
Analysts say Chinese companies had been "extraordinarily adept" at getting round the West's export controls via third parties, groups offshore or shell companies, which can be hard to track because they often change their names. Photo: Reuters.


Taiwan’s GlobalWafers Co Ltd will invest $5 billion in a plant that will make silicon wafers used in semiconductors in Texas, after a failed European investment.

GlobalWafers said the plant, which will make 300-milimetre silicon wafers, will start being built this year and would generate up to 1,500 jobs in Sherman, Texas.

“With a global chips shortage and the ongoing geopolitical concerns, GlobalWafers is taking this opportunity to address the US semiconductor supply chain resiliency issue by building an advanced node, state-of-the-art, 300-millimeter silicon wafer factory,” chairwoman and CEO Doris Hsu said.

“Instead of importing wafers from Asia, GlobalWafers USA (GWA) will produce and supply wafers locally.”

The company added that the investment will be made “phase by phase”, based on confirming actual customer demand.


Global Shortage

GlobalWafers said in February it expected its total capital expenditure to reach T$100 billion ($3.38 billion) between 2022 and 2024, redirecting funds for a now-ended 4.35-billion-euro ($4.60 billion) takeover of Germany’s Siltronic.

The failed acquisition came as a global shortage of semiconductors has laid bare Europe’s dependence on Asian suppliers, which has triggered recent efforts to boost production across the continent.

Germany’s Economy Ministry said it was not possible to complete all the steps of the investment review, in particular a review of an antitrust approval granted by China only in January.

The GlobalWafers deal would have created the second-largest maker of 300-millimetre wafers, behind Japan’s Shin-Etsu, as the semiconductor industry consolidates.

Germany has become wary of changes to its high-tech supply network after carmakers, one of its major sectors, were hit by the global chip shortage. GlobalWafers secured a majority stake in Siltronic last year and initially hoped to have the transaction wrapped up in late 2021.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara





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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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