Taiwan’s FPG eyes land for future chip plans

March 29, 2007 – An investment company held by Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group, which owns stakes in memory makers Nanya Technology Corp. and Inotera Memories, has purchased 78 hectares of land in a high-tech park in Taoyuan County for about $233 million, where it will expand semiconductor related businesses including silicon wafer prduction and chip assembly, according to the Taiwan Economic News.

The site, near a similar land purchase by Inotera, will be used for further expanding Inotera operations and supporting suppliers, the paper noted, adding that development on the land is nearly complete so construction of facilities could start at any time.

The land is big enough to ultimately house at least 10 300mm silicon factories, the paper speculates, while Inotera’s separate purchase could support two 300mm fabs. Nanya and Inotera have set out a combined capex of ~$3 billion on 300mm fab expansions this year.

The Taoyuan area has been a hotbed of land speculation by chip-industry firms lately. ASM recently chose to establish a $150 million regional R&D headquarters there with plans to cluster suppliers around the site. And officials in Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) have been actively soliciting foreign companies to set up operations here, including display panel stepper suppliers (and ASML rivals) Canon Inc. and Nikon Corp.

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