Samsung Electronics is reportedly preparing to kick off operations of its second memory plant in Pyeongtaek in March next year, a move seen as a strategy to maintain its leadership despite unfavorable market conditions recently, according to industry sources on March 17.
The tech giant is reported to have recently held meetings with multiple entities including the Pyeongtaek City to discuss the supply of public utilities such as electricity and water for the new 30 trillion won worth factory with a schedule of operating the facility in March.
Operations of the new plant was widely expected to begin in June of 2020, but the plan seems to be have been moved forward to March, considering currently slow market conditions and higher demand forecasts for next year.
“Samsung seems to be preparing for a recovery demand for memory chips next year,” said an industry official. “And the new fab will be used probably for the most high-tech DRAM chips that will go into high-spec digital devices like foldable smartphones.”
The world’s top memory chipmaker broke ground for the second fabrication facility next to its first plant that is already the single largest memory fab in the world.
The entire Samsung memory complex in Peyongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, measures 2.89 million square meters, about the size of 400 football stadiums.
Samsung is planning to build two more memory fabs within the complex, and plans for the next construction will be announced soon.
Last week, the company reached an agreement with the residents of nearby cities spanning from West Anseong to Godeok, to build electricity pylons that will provide up to 200 megawatts of power for the semiconductor production facilities.
The construction of the towers was strongly objected by the residential communities over fears that high voltage transmission towers could pose threats to their health.
“Although prices of DRAM and NAND flash chips experienced falls in the first quarter, Samsung is not halting its investment plans,” the official said. “Senior officials are predicting the demand will pick up in the second half of this year and continue rising rapidly next year.”
“The upcoming memory plant will play a key role in striking a balance of supply and demand, and Samsung wants to take the lead,” he added.
The company had initially set a rough timeline for the new fab to start running in March, said a Samsung PR official, which has not been made public until recently.
“It’s not been officially announced, because the schedule could be adjusted in accordance with market conditions,” the official noted. “The time table was set early last year when the company broke ground for the second plant, but the market is now totally different.”
By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)