Micron secures approval on NT$66 billion investment in Taiwan

Taipei-U.S.-based dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chip maker Micron Technology Inc. has obtained the green light to invest NT$66 billion (US$2.10 billion) in Taiwan, the Investment Commission said Wednesday.

In a statement, the commission said that the American DRAM giant, through its subsidiary Micron Technology B.V. in Holland, has secured the approval in a meeting held by the commission on Monday to remit foreign currency denominated funds equivalent to NT$66 billion into Taiwan.

While the commission declined to disclose the details about the Micron investment, Micron Memory Taiwan Co., a Taiwanese unit of the U.S. DRAM maker, said on Monday that it is building a new plant coded A3 in central Taiwan and construction is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of next year.

Micron Taiwan said the A3 plant is aimed at expanding the company's clean room capacity and upgrading its technologies, rather than boosting its wafer production in Taiwan.

Micron Taiwan declined to reveal any financial terms for the new plant or any other details about the new investment. It said Micron will continue to seek land for further investments in Taiwan to fulfill its economic responsibility as a major semiconductor firm here.

The U.S. DRAM maker, currently the third largest DRAM maker in the world behind Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc. of South Korea, has more than 34,000 employees in 17 countries worldwide and owns more than 40,000 patents.

In Taiwan, Micron has a workforce of about 8,000 and operates two wafer plants, one in Taoyuan and the other in Taichung. The IC packaging and testing plant in Taichung became operational in late October 2018.

The upcoming A3 plant will be located in the Houli section of the Central Taiwan Science Park close to the Taichung wafer plant and the IC packaging and testing compound.

Commenting on Micron's investment plan, Ray Yang (???), a research head of the government-sponsored Industrial Research Development Institute, said Micron's move to raise its investment in Taiwan showed its confidence that the global memory chip market will recover.

To his estimate, momentum of the global memory chip market, which now faces a supply glut, will pick up in the second half of 2020 at the earliest and the strength is expected to continue into 2021 on the back of the efforts in developing 5G communications applications, artificial intelligence and edge computing.

Yang said the new investment in Taiwan will be used to upgrade Micron's technologies to meet demand when the market conditions improve.

Also in the Monday meeting, the Investment Commission approved two Taiwan-bound investment projects valued at about NT$2.1 billion and NT$3.3 billion worth of foreign currency denominated funds, respectively, to invest in drone development and acquire a stake in a Taiwanese biotech company.

Meanwhile, the commission has also approved an investment project valued at NT$440 million worth of foreign currencies planned by Guangdong-based connector maker Luxshare Precision Industry Co., while integrated circuit packaging and testing services provider Siliconware Precision Industries Co. has been permitted to pour US$45 million to its subsidiary located in Fujian province.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel