Expansions: Merck breaks ground on semiconductor facility in Taiwan; Toray to expand PPS capacity in South Korea

Merck breaks ground on semiconductor facility in Taiwan

German tech firm Merck has broken ground in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for a new production facility in its semiconductor solutions business. The site, which covers an area of 150,000 sq m will produce specialty gases and semiconductor materials for thin film and patterning solutions as of 2025.

The site is to be expanded in multiple stages. This investment is part of the “Level Up” growth program initiated by the electronics business sector at the end of 2021. By 2025, electronics intends to invest significantly more than EUR3 billion in innovations and capacity expansion projects, thereby supporting the future success of semiconductor solutions, one of Merck’s growth drivers.

As a key innovation partner close to customers, the electronics unit operates R&D centres and production facilities for materials and solutions for the electronics industry at sites in Asia, the US and Germany.

In October 2022, a new facility was also completed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for the production of delivery equipment for the safe handling of gases and chemicals in the semiconductor industry. Delivery Systems & Services, the business unit in charge of this facility, is also expanding its capacities in the US and plans to open a new production facility in Chandler, Arizona, in the first half of 2023.

Apart from Kaohsiung in Taiwan, Merck is currently also expanding its semiconductor materials production capacities at further sites in Asia, the US and Germany. To this end, an entire series of investment projects is being prepared or already in implementation. In addition, Merck recently acquired the chemical business of the Korean company Mecaro. With this, it is strengthening its expertise in thin-film materials for semiconductor manufacturing and can expand its global capacities.

Also in 2022, Merck opened its China Electronics Technology Centre and a production facility for organic light-emitting diode (OLED) materials in Shanghai, China. This marks the third OLED materials facility that the company has already commissioned aside from Pyeongtaek, Korea, and Darmstadt, Germany. With these investments, Merck says it is further expanding its analytical capacities in the OLED materials field. OLED technology enables flexible displays and display-based consumer electronics of the future.

Toray to expand PPS capacity in South Korea

Meanwhile in other news, Toray Advanced Materials Korea Inc. a subsidiary of Toray Industries, will increase annual production capacity for Torelina polyphenylene sulphide (PPS) resin by 5,000 tonnes at its plant in Gunsan, South Korea. the expansion should be complete in December 2024 bringing the group's combined PPS manufacturing capacity, including output at this facility and the Tokai Plant in Aichi Prefecture, Japan, 32,600 tonnes/year.

A concurrent move will be to expand production of sodium hydrogen sulphide, a key raw material for PPS resin. Toray would thereby solidify its position as a cost-competitive, integrated manufacturer of everything from raw materials through resins.

Toray Advanced Materials Korea will supply PPS resin not consumed domestically to Toray Group compounding sites in China, Europe, the US, Southeast Asia and other regions as part of efforts to expand its global business.

PPS resin’s key benefits are heat and chemical resistance, mechanical strength and flame retardance. Applications include electrical components for a growing number of electrified vehicles, electrical and electronic devices, and housing-related parts. Applications continue to broaden. Toray decided to boost capacity at Toray Advanced Materials Korea to cater to a projected 6% annual demand growth globally for PPS resin compounds.

Toray Group says it is a comprehensive manufacturer of PPS not just for resin compounds but also for films and fibres.


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