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© joegough dreamstime.com Business | March 22, 2021

Fire at Renesas Naka fab shuts down 300mm line

At 2:47 am on March 19, 2021, part of the N3 building of Renesas Naka factory caught fire.

The N3 building of the Naka factory, which is located on the Ibaraki prefecture, houses the 300mm line. The fire was extinguished on the same day on March 19, 2021. “We would like to give our sincerest apologies to neighboring residents, customers, partner companies, relevant authorities and all those involved for the trouble the fire caused,” said Hidetoshi Shibata, President & CEO of Renesas said during a press conference regarding the fire. “In addition, we would like to express our gratitude for the fire department and those who partook in the extinguishing of the fire.” The day after the fire, on March 20, a site investigation led by the police and the fire department was conducted. The investigation confirmed the cause of the fire to be the plating equipment within the first floor of the N3 Building. The casing of the equipment and the plating tank have relatively low resistance to heat, and the equipment ignited due to overcurrent. The cause of the overcurrent and the reason for the ignition is however still being investigated. The company confirms in a press release that there were no casualties among its employees and no damages to the building. However, the fire burned an area of approximately 600 square metres, which is around 5% of the 12’000 square metre clean room area of the first floor of the N3 building, the fire also caused damage to 11 pieces of manufacturing equipment – which Reneasas says is around 2% of the manufacturing equipment of the N3 Building. The company also recorded damages to some of the utility equipment such as the pure water supply and the air conditioning. The impacts to work-in-process is currently undetermined and Renesas says it will be investigated in coming week. Renesas says that the production at N2 Building (200mm line) and the wafer testing building is operating as usual and will continue product shipment. However, the production at N3 Building has due to the fire temporarily been halted. “In regard to the N3 Building, we will clean the interior of the clean room and procure replacements of the burned equipment with the support of our partner companies and manufacturing equipment suppliers, and we aim to resume production within one month,” the press release reads. While the second floor of the N3 building was not impacted by the fire, the operation is integrated between the first and the second floor – which means that even if the company runs the second floor separately, Renesas cannot manufacture or ship products. Even through about two-thirds of the products manufactured within the N3 building can be alternatively produced in-house or in foundries – the recent increase in demand for semiconductors is making this difficult. The company says that the situation does not allow for all products to be immediately produced alternatively. The financial impact from halting the N3 Building production is approximately JPY 17 billion (EUR 131 million) per month.
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