Mitsubishi announce new $1.7 billion plant

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has announced its intention to build a $1.7 billion semiconductor plant in western Japan.

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has announced its intention to build a $1.7 billion semiconductor plant in western Japan, driving up chip-making capacity as global demand surges.

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan’s fifth biggest chipmaker, said it expected the new plant, which will manufacture advanced memory chips and system large scale integration chips for a range of electronics devices, would be built by 2003.

A Mitsubishi spokesman said the company hopes to operate the new plant in Kochi prefecture as a joint venture with Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd and its subsidiary Matsushita Electronics Corp to reduce investment costs.

The new Kochi factory will be capable of producing 12-inch next-generation wafers, reducing production costs by 30 percent from its existing Kochi plant, which manufactures eight-inch wafers.

The company will spend 10 billion yen this year on an initial factory capable of producing 25,000 12-inch wafers a month, although output would depend on conditions in the chip market.

It said robust demand for chips, as well as increased sales of mobile phones, boosted group interim sales by 13 percent to a record 1.9 trillion yen.

The Semiconductor International Capacity Statistics, a global chip statistics body, said in November, 2000, that world semiconductor production capacity rose 6.7 percent in the period between July and September from the previous quarter, reflecting demand for mobile phones and personal computers.