“It fills me with great pride to see the production of the first wafers from the line. This is a decisive milestone in the history of Siltronic. I am delighted that test wafer production has started a little earlier than planned. I would therefore like to congratulate all employees and suppliers involved and thank them for their contribution. We look forward to supplying our customers with leading-edge wafers from this state-of-the-art factory,” says Dr. Michael Heckmeier, CEO of Siltronic AG.
Despite numerous challenges, including the global coronavirus pandemic and supply chain restrictions, construction of the new factory, which began in 2021, is on schedule and on budget. Around two billion euros will be invested in this greenfield project by the end of 2024. This will be followed by further investments on a smaller scale to further ramp up production.
The large-scale project covers an area of around 20 soccer pitches. At peak times, more than 5,000 people were on site, both for the construction work and for the installation of the systems. The factory is supported by around 5,500 posts that reach up to 60 meters deep into the ground. A total of 150,000 m³ of concrete and more than 35,000 tonnes of steel were used.
In the medium term, the new factory is expected to be extremely cost-efficient due to the high degree of automation and the use of digitalization. This cost efficiency will be enhanced by the strategic proximity to the existing 200 and 300 mm factories in Singapore, which will lead to economies of scale and synergies.
The new factory will accompany the medium and long-term growth of the semiconductor market, which is being driven by megatrends such as digitalization, artificial intelligence and electromobility. As originally planned, the ramp phase of production will begin at the start of next year.
“The trust and support of our customers was a key factor in this investment. In the ramp-up phase, sales from the new factory are largely secured by long-term contracts. Customers have also contributed significantly to the initial financing of the factory through down payments,” adds Claudia Schmitt, CFO of Siltronic AG.