Swansea investment goes ahead

International Rectifier, the Los Angeles-based specialist electronics manufacturer that last month said it was cutting its global workforce, will today confirm plans to invest $40m (£25m) in a new plant in Wales. The 90,000sq ft factory at Penllergaer, near Swansea, will create 500 new jobs over the next four years. Alex Lidow, chief executive officer, […]

International Rectifier, the Los Angeles-based specialist electronics manufacturer that last month said it was cutting its global workforce, will today confirm plans to invest $40m (£25m) in a new plant in Wales.

The 90,000sq ft factory at Penllergaer, near Swansea, will create 500 new jobs over the next four years.

Alex Lidow, chief executive officer, manufacturing, said the investment was supported by a 25% grant from the Welsh Development Agency.

Earlier this month IR announced a 5% cut in its global workforce of 4,200. In the three months to September, earnings fell to $34,000 compared with $6.1m for the same period last year.

IR develops electronic motion and power control modules, including the power Mosfet technology it pioneered.

The market for these products, which improve vehicle performance and energy efficiency, is growing at around 20% a year.

Lidow said: ‘Europe leads the world for advanced automotive concepts, and is ahead of Japan and the US.’

Swansea’s availability of workers skilled in mechanical design, and machine tool and die making, helped clinch the decision.

Production is due to start in July and to reach full capacity in four years.