December 2, 2010 — SAFC Hitech announced plans to build a new, dedicated facility in Kaohsiung, Taiwan for transfilling, technical service and production of chemical precursors used for high brightness LED and silicon semiconductor manufacturing. The new facility is expected to be operational by late 2011. The announcement follows the March 2010 production expansion of trimethylgallium (TMG) at its Bromborough, UK manufacturing site.
SAFC Hitech already operates a facility in Kaohsiung, designed to handle and characterize highly-specialized laboratory-scale chemicals and features a dedicated customer support center. This existing site is ISO 9001 certified for quality and ISO 14001 certified for safety and environmental protocols. The facility was originally built to service the semiconductor industry demands for ultra-high quality precursors using proprietary technologies. The site also provides integrated inert atmosphere transfilling stations, analytical instrumentation for the detection of ultra-low metallic and oxygen containing contaminants and dedicated cylinder preparation and packaging areas.
SAFC Hitech sees the LED manufacturing market growing rapidly, particularly HBLEDs that are used in applications such as backlighting in flat panel television sets and energy efficient lighting. “As mass manufacturing continues its rise, we are experiencing significant increases in customer and partnership activities in the Asia-Pacific region," said Philip Rose, SAFC Hitech President.
Strategies Unlimited, a market research firm, projects market growth for HBLEDs averaging 29.5% per year, reaching over $19 billion by 2014. The application with the highest forecast growth rate is signs/displays, with a CAGR of 60.6%. Illumination has the next-highest growth rate, with a projected CAGR of 45.4%.