Taiwan’s GlobalWafers to invest $5 billion in new silicon wafer factory in Texas


TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s GlobalWafers Co Ltd will spend $5 billion on a new factory in Texas to make silicon wafers used in semiconductors, moving to the United States after a failed European investment.

The company said late Monday that the new factory, making 300-millimeter silicon wafers, would begin construction later this year and generate up to 1,500 jobs in Sherman, Texas.

“With the global chip shortage and ongoing geopolitical concerns, GlobalWafers is seizing this opportunity to address the resiliency of the U.S. semiconductor supply chain by constructing an advanced node, silicon wafer factory peak of 300 millimeters,” said Chairwoman and CEO Doris Hsu.

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

The company added that the investment will be “phase by phase” based on confirmation of actual customer demand. GlobalWafers said in February it expects its total capital expenditure to reach $100 billion ($3.38 billion) between 2022 and 2024, redirecting funds for a $4.35 billion takeover. euros (4.60 billion dollars) of the German Siltronic. The failed acquisition came as a global shortage of semiconductors laid bare Europe’s dependence on Asian suppliers, sparking recent efforts to boost production on the whole continent. Germany’s economy ministry said it was not possible to complete all stages of the investment review, particularly the review of an antitrust approval granted by China only in January. The GlobalWafers deal would have created the second-largest maker of 300-millimeter wafers, behind Japan’s Shin-Etsu, as the semiconductor industry consolidates. Germany has been wary of changes to its high-tech supply network after automakers, one of its main sectors, were hit by a global chip shortage. GlobalWafers secured a majority stake in Siltronic last year and initially hoped to complete the transaction in late 2021.

($1 = 29.6040 Taiwan dollars)

($1 = 0.9452 euros)

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Rashmi Aich)