South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix has announced plans for three new chip plants in its home country. The world's second biggest memory chip company said it would spend hugely on the project.
SK Hynix plans to spend 46tn won (£24bn, €33bn, $38bn) in facility investments, which would have updated production techniques to boost its competitiveness in the ever-evolving global semiconductor industry. This would be done over the next 10 years.
At a dedication ceremony for a recently completed new chip plant in Icheon, SK Group chairman Chey Tae-Won, who was released from prison by a presidential pardon, announced the investment. The new plant would get a total of 15tn won investment, and the remaining amount would be spent on building two more chip factories in Icheon and Cheongju.
The new line will be ready for production within the third-quarter, and is expected to produce a maximum 200,000 sheets of 300mm dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) wafers every month. Following the news, shares in SK Hynix jumped as much as 9.3% in South Korea.
SK Hynix's mammoth investment comes as its rivals including Samsung, Micron Technology and Toshiba are taking steps to bolster their production capacity, anticipating high demand for memory chips used in smartphones, tablets and other devices. Due to high demand, the memory chip industry has enjoyed robust profits in recent quarters. SK Hynix reported a 65% on-year increase in second-quarter net profit.
Samsung earlier said it would construct a multi-billion-dollar chip production facility in Pyeongtaek of Seoul to cater to the increasing demand for semiconductors from the smartphone industry. The world's largest memory chip maker plans to invest $14.7bn in a new plant, which will produce either logic or memory chips. The company is yet to decide on the type of products to be made at the plant.