Japan’s Ferrotec to nearly double wafer recycling capacity in China

17, Jul. 2020

Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash
Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

TOKYO, NNA - Japanese semiconductor material maker Ferrotec Holdings Corp. will nearly double its wafer recycling production capacity in China, as local demand is expected to grow larger than it anticipated in an initial production plan.

The company plans to ramp up monthly capacity to 120,000 12-inch recycled wafers from the initially planned 65,000 at a factory under construction in the central Chinese province of Anhui, it said in a statement on Wednesday.

Investment will be boosted to 893 million yuan ($128 million) from 500 million yen, the statement said.

In September last year, Ferrotec established a wafer recycling joint venture, Ferrotec (Anhui) Changjiang Semiconductor Material Co., in Tongling in the province. Construction of the manufacturing facility is scheduled to be completed in September this year.

The joint venture will collect sample wafers used during the test running of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to ensure production line stability before launching commercial operations, with recycled wafers cleansed and ground for reuse, according to Ferrotec.

Recycled wafer demand accounts for about 20 percent of prime wafer output, Akihiro Sato, executive officer and general manager of IR Office at Ferrotec, told NNA on Thursday.

On the back of the Chinese government’s push to enhance local semiconductor production, the Japanese maker estimated that prime wafer output capacity will grow from 750,000 per month this year to 1.25 million next year and two million in 2022.

Alongside this, recycled wafer demand is also likely to surge to 400,000 to 500,000 per month, Sato said.

Ferrotec has capitalized the joint venture at 500 million yuan, with a 70 percent stake taken by its wholly owned Chinese arm, Shanghai Shenhe Thermo-Magnetics Electronics Co., and the remainder by a local sovereign wealth fund, Tongling Development Investment Group Co., according to the statement.

The joint venture plans to begin test production in January next year and commercial output in April. Ferrotec intends ultimately to boost the venture’s capacity to 200,000 wafers per month, it said in the statement.