South Korean government announces ‘world’s largest’ chip complex near Seoul. Samsung says it will spend $228 billion
The government of South Korea has this week confirmed it will build the ‘world’s largest’ chip facility, with a colossal investment from Samsung Electronics.
The plans were announced by South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Wednesday, and then confirmed by the electronics giant, which said it will spend 300 trillion Korean won ($228 billion) on the facility.
The move comes amid a global arms race over silicon chips as nations seek to ramp up their domestic manufacturing capabilities amid rising tensions between the United States and China, over Beijing’s stated intentions towards Taiwan.
Into this mix comes the news on Wednesday that Samsung plans to invest 300 trillion Korean won ($228 billion) in a new semiconductor complex in South Korea.
Samsung’s new facility will be part of a “semiconductor cluster”, which the government says will be the largest in the world.
The investment will happen over the years to 2042, a Samsung spokesperson told CNBC.
According to the CNBC report, the South Korean government is looking to join together its biggest tech companies to spur development in key areas, such as computer chips, displays, batteries and electric vehicles.
The government reportedly said Wednesday that 550 trillion won ($421 billion) will be invested by the private sector by 2026.
The big focus will be on semiconductors.
“President Yoon Suk-yeol said, while it’s important for a high-tech industry such as semiconductors to grow through a mid-to-longer term plan, we must swiftly push ahead with these plans as if it’s a matter of life and death, given the current situation of global competition,” Yoon’s spokesperson Lee Do-woon was quoted as saying in a briefing.
The new 300 trillion won chip complex Samsung is building will be located just outside Seoul.
Five chip factories
According to CNBC, South Korea’s government aims to connect chip facilities in the area from Samsung to other companies to create a “semiconductor mega cluster.”
The idea is to link up various parts of the semiconductor supply chain from chip design to manufacturing.
“In selecting the new locations, we’ve taken into consideration the synergy effect that could be seen from existing semiconductor clusters,” Lee Chang-yang, South Korea’s trade, industry and energy minister, was quoted as saying.
The South Korean government said that companies will build five chip manufacturing facilities in the cluster.