Hon Hai awards NT$1.05 billion in contracts for Wisconsin plant

Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou (right) and U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photo courtesy CNA)

Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou (right) and U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photo courtesy CNA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan-based manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. has awarded US$34 million or about NT$1.05 billion in contracts to five Wisconsin firms for construction of an advanced flat panel plant in the state.

According to CNA, In a statement released Thursday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn on the global market, said the five sub-contractors are expected to immediately start construction on the Taiwanese firm's sixth generation flat panel facility campus located in the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park in Racine County.

The contracts are expected to start construction of critical utilities and roadways in the compound, Hon Hai said in the statement.

The five Wisconsin firms awarded the contracts are Giles Engineering Associates Inc., Staff Electric Company Inc., Hoffman Construction Co., A.W. Oakes & Sons, Inc., and Payne & Dolan, Inc., Hon Hai said.

"Foxconn is proud to announce these successful Wisconsin based subcontractors who will help make the Gen6 facility a reality," Louis Woo (胡國輝), a special assistant to Hon Hai Founder and Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) said in the statement.

"This investment will continue to provide new economic development to the local community and throughout the state. Our Wisconsin First approach guides how we conduct business in the Badger state, and we look forward to having a positive impact on a range of industries and sectors in the community. This is only the beginning," Woo said.

Earlier this month, Hon Hai announced its state-of-the-art sixth generation flat panel production site in Wisconsin is scheduled to start production in the fourth quarter of 2020. According to Hon Hai, construction work is scheduled to start by the summer of 2019.

In late January, Hon Hai said it would rethink its US$10 billion Wisconsin project, saying the investment would be adjusted to focus mainly on research and development instead of manufacturing as initially planned.

According to international media reports, the investment plan was revised in light of the steep cost of making advanced TV screens in the U.S., where labor costs are comparatively high.

However, after a phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump, Gou said in early February that Hon Hai will continue its Wisconsin project.

Trump suggested Hon Hai hire military veterans to meet the demand for tech workers, Gou said, adding he thought that was a feasible proposal.

Hon Hai said the sixth generation LCD plant will now roll out screens for a wide range of applications including education, health and medical care, entertainment, sports, security and smart city development.

In addition to the announcement on the contracts to the five Wisconsin firms, Hon Hai said it will take several major steps in the upcoming months and issue initial bid packages for the sixth generation flat screen plant in May.