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October 15, 2018

SK hynix completes construction of new NAND memory plant

PUBLISHED : October 04, 2018 - 14:23

UPDATED : October 04, 2018 - 14:33

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[THE INVESTOR] CHEONGJU -- Chipmaker SK hynix held a topping-out ceremony for its M15 plant at its industrial complex in Cheongju City, North Chungcheong Province.

The chip company plans to produce NAND memory chips at the two-story factory sitting on a 60,000-square-meter site, equivalent to eight football fields.

According to officials, the company will spend a total of 20 trillion won (US$17.70 billion), including the cost of construction, in phases. The installation of manufacturing machines and devices at the plant will be done as per market demand.


Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group

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SK hynix to invest W15tr for new chip plant

“SK hynix, a company that once was in the red, has now grown into a leader in the chip sector and I would like to attribute the achievement to the support of the local community and the entire country,” said SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won.

“The company will try to maintain the nation’s competitive edge in the market with cutting-edge chip technologies.”

When the plant runs at full throttle in the next five years, the firm is expected to be armed with additional manufacturing capacity of more than 10,000 wafers for NAND memory chips. The wafer is a disc-shaped base material used in producing semiconductors.

The plant is scheduled to roll out chips early next year.

Among some 450 participants in the ceremony were President Moon Jae-in, Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, Trade Minister Sung Yun-mo, North Chungcheong Province Gov. Lee Si-jong and SK hynix CEO Park Seong-wook.

President Moon, Chey and a few other participants took part in a celebratory event where they remotely put the first wafer in a semiconductor fabrication machine.

“As a partner company, we have had a good opportunity to work with SK hynix over the past three years,” said Yoo Won-yang, CEO of TEMC, a company that produces chemicals for chip manufacturing processes. “I hope the two companies can grow together down the road.”

The M15 plant is forecast to generate 70.9 trillion won worth of production and 25.8 trillion won in added value. It will generate 218,000 jobs, an SK hynix official said citing a report of economic think tank Institute of Economic Research at Seoul National University.

Around 2.4 million employees from 160 companies have taken part in the construction project since April 2017.

SK hynix, which was previously owned by Hyundai Group, was acquired by SK Group in 2012. It is now No. 2 in the world’s DRAM market after tech giant Samsung Electronics.

As member of a consortium led by US private equity firm Bain Capital, SK hynix took part in the US$18 billion acquisition of the NAND flash memory unit of Japanese tech firm Toshiba, which was closed in June.

The firm is the fifth-largest player in the NAND memory chip sector with approximately 10 percent market share, according to market research firm DRAMeXchange.

By Kim Young-won (wone010@heraldcorp.com)

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