Micron confirms £2.3b Manassas plant expansion

August 30, 2018 | 11:17

Tags: #business #dram #fab #financial #manassas #memory #nand-flash #semiconductor #supply-and-demand #virgina

Companies: #micron #virginia

Memory maker Micron has announced a plan to spend £2.3 billion on expanding its semiconductor plant in Manassas, Virginia, with the promise of creating around 1,100 new jobs in the area over the next ten years.

That demand has been exceeding supply in the memory market is no secret: Back in July market watcher DRAMeXchange announced that prices were likely to continue rising until at least the end of the year, while in April SK Hynix warned that 'supply will remain insufficient' for the foreseeable future.

Micron, along with its various competitors, is looking to take advantage of that growing demand with a revised expansion plan which sees it spending £2.3 billion over the next decade to expand its facility in Manassas, Virginia.

'Micron’s Manassas site manufactures our long-lifecycle products that are built using our mature process technologies, and primarily sold into the automotive, networking and industrial markets,' explains Micron president and chief executive Sanjay Mehrotra. 'These products support a diverse set of applications such as industrial automation, drones, the IoT (Internet of Things) and in-vehicle experience applications for automotive. This business delivers strong profitability and stable, growing free cash flow. Micron is grateful for the extensive engagement of state and local officials since early this year to help bring our Manassas expansion to fruition. We are excited to increase our commitment to the community through the creation of new highly skilled jobs, expanded facilities and education initiatives.'

The expansion plan, which Governor Ralph Northam described as 'one of the largest manufacturing investments in the history of Virginia', will see an initial expansion of the clean room facilities completed in late 2019 with production ramp-up scheduled for the first half of 2020. Those hoping for a massive boost in supply to drive down prices, though, should be warned that the expansion will increase Micron's overall clean room footprint by a mere five percent.

The company has also confirmed plans to establish a research and development centre in the area, staffed by 100 engineers, and a £770,000 fund for higher education in the region to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates - the latter almost certainly designed to grease governmental wheels as part of the approval process for the plant expansion.

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