hynix wins quick state approval for construction of world's largest semiconductor cluster

28, Mar. 2019

SEOUL, AJU - SK hynix won quick state approval for the proposed use of land to build the world's largest semiconductor cluster that would become a base for the production of next-generation microchips and the convergence of new technologies.

For the semiconductor cluster aimed at maintaining a competitive edge over Chinese companies, a government screening committee agreed to allocate some 4.48 million square meters of land in the metropolitical area where the construction of large industrial sites has been restricted, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The ministry said Wednesday that it would form a task force to support and expedite SK hynix' investments. The green light came a month after the country's second largest microchip maker proposed the construction of the cluster with an investment of about 120 trillion won ($107 billion) after 2022 in Yongin, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Seoul.

SK hynix plans to build four fabrication plants in the cluster, which will house about 50 equipment, parts and material makers as a production base for next-generation microchips. Yongin was selected due to its geographical position and infrastructure.

In 2018, chip exports stood at $126.7 billion, compared to South Korea's total exports estimated at $605.5 billion. South Korean companies predict the semiconductor sector is expected to grow gradually throughout 2019.

For decades, the semiconductor industry has been highly cyclical. Demand was mainly driven by the personal computer market throughout the 1980s and 1990s and smartphones later on. Experts predict a different cycle, citing the broadened usage of highly efficient chips to meet the needs of a new industry.