Wacker Chemie subsidiary Siltronic has announced plans to cease wafer production at its Hikari, Japan facility in an effort to streamline its 200mm wafer production capacities. The facility will be shut down in mid-2012, and production volumes will be transferred to its 200mm wafer plants in Singapore and Portland, Oregon, US.
Siltronic’s Hikari site currently employs around 500 staff producing both semiconductor wafers and monocrystalline silicon ingots. The company plans to maintain a sales and application engineering force in Japan; the number of staff being maintained in Japan was not disclosed. In 2009, Siltronic implemented a lead-site strategy whereby wafer production locations would be sorted according to wafer sizes, allowing for increased flexibility in terms of fluctuating market demand.
If the closure goes ahead as planned, Wacker will incur expenses of around €70 million – of which €45 million will be cash – which have not been taken into account in the company’s recent third-quarter earnings results.