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Taiwan’s GlobalWafers wants US subsidies for new US$5 billion Texas facility

Proposed 12-inch plant would have monthly capacity of 1.2 million wafers

Wafer. (Getty Images)

Wafer. (Getty Images)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The world’s third-largest maker of silicon wafers, GlobalWafers Co., said on Monday (June 27) it is considering building a new US$5 billion (NT$148 billion) plant in Sherman, Texas.

GlobalWafers Chairwoman and CEO Doris Hsu (徐秀蘭) said during an online press conference on Tuesday (June 28) that her company is set to start construction on a 12-inch silicon wafer plant in November, but only if it secures subsidies from the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) for America Act by August. Hsu said the company would likely have to alter its Texas expansion plans if U.S. government funding cannot be secured.

“This investment that they’re making is contingent upon Congress passing the CHIPS Act (funding). The (GlobalWafers) CEO told me that herself, and they reiterated that today,” CNBC cited U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo as saying on Monday. “It has to be done before they go to August recess. I don’t know how to say it any more plainly. This deal … will go away, I think, if Congress doesn’t act,” Raimondo told CNBC.

GlobalWafers on Monday said the proposed 12-inch wafer plant would cover 3.2 million square feet and have a monthly production capacity of 1.2 million wafers. The facility would also create around 1,500 jobs.

The CHIPS Act, which proposed US$52 billion in funding for domestic chipmakers, was passed by Congress in January 2021 as part of that year’s National Defense Authorization Act, according to Fortune. Since then, however, Congress has yet to formally assign any budget to finance the bill, Fortune added.