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Electronics Production | November 29, 2005

New wafer fab in Germany

Wafer manufacturer Siltronic AG, based in Munich, is further expanding its 300 mm wafer production in Germany. The company is to invest a total of approximately EUR 136 million in its production sites at Burghausen in Bavaria and Freiberg in Saxony.
Up to 225 new jobs are to be created as a result of this expansion programme. The company's CEO, Dr Wilhelm Sittenthaler, said on Tuesday in Munich: “Worldwide demand for 300 mm wafers is rising steadily. By concentrating on the production of wafers of this diameter we're right on track.” As the largest-volume manufacturer outside Japan, Siltronic is one of the global market leaders in the promising 300 mm segment.

This investment programme has the crucial support of a company-related joint wage agreement adopted by the Executive Board of Siltronic, the central works council, the local works councils at the production sites in Burghausen, Munich and Freiberg, and the German Mining, Chemical and Energy Workers' Union (IG BCE). This agreement provides for an extension of working hours from the current 37.5 hours per week to 39 hours, without any additional pay. The agreement will come into effect on January 1, 2006.

Employees outside the agreed scale rate, managerial staff and the Executive Board will be making an equivalent contribution in order to make the investments in Germany possible. Dr Wilhelm Sittenthaler commented: “The fact that we are making a nine-figure investment in the expansion of our production capacity in Germany underlines and visibly underpins the comprehensive restructuring successes that Siltronic has achieved during the past two years”. The new wage agreement runs for a period of five years. In Burghausen and Munich, all employees will be affected by the change to the wage agreement. Freiberg has its own wage agreement, which runs until the end of 2008 and will at that point be brought into line with the wage agreement recently negotiated. The Chairman of the central works council, Walter Ortner, is happy with the investment in the future of the German production sites: “The measures are not easy for the staff. However, they are the best solution for safeguarding jobs. It would certainly have been worse if jobs had been cut completely, or shifted abroad.”

Of the investments planned, 60 percent, or EUR 80 million, will be put into the Burghausen production site. The 300 mm wafer production capacity there will be expanded by 60,000 wafers per month, from the present 75,000 wafers. In Freiberg, it is planned to expand capacity ultimately by an additional 50,000 wafers from the scheduled capacity of approximately 150,000 wafers per month.

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