Thanks to a $300 million investment in semiconductor wafer manufacturing in Monitor Township, there is now a handful of Bay County powering electric vehicles and other high-tech devices across the country.
To meet unprecedented global demand for silicon carbide wafers used to make semiconductor chips, SK Siltron CSS doubled its workforce in Bay County to 240 last year, opening a second in Valley Center Technology Park built a manufacturing facility.
And this may just be the beginning.
SK Siltron CSS CEO Jianwei Dong said the company plans to increase production capacity 16-fold by 2025 and expand its workforce base to support the proliferation of electric vehicles and the semiconductor chips that power them. I said yes.
“We are transforming the world through sustainable compound semiconductor solutions made here in the Great Lakes Bay region,” said Dong.
SK Siltron CSS is a US subsidiary of SK Siltron, one of the world’s largest silicon wafer suppliers, based in South Korea.
Formerly home to FP Horak, the Monitor Township site is the company’s second location in Bay County. In 2019, SK Siltron acquired DuPont’s silicon carbide wafer unit in Williams Township for his $450 million. The site is now used for SK Siltron CSS research and development, along with wafer fabrication.
The company chose Michigan for its new facility over competing states because of its skilled local workforce and proximity to major automakers, Dong said.
“Our parent company is a very serious investor and understands that to win, you have to be aggressive,” said R&D Manager Matthew Gabe. “It’s refreshing and rewarding to work for a company that can hire the people you need to do things right.”
Monitor Township supervisor Terry Spencer said he hopes other companies will follow suit, bringing strong business and good jobs to the region.
“I am confident that in the next decade, the entire landscape of the world will change significantly,” Spencer said. “It will benefit our communities and the people who live here.”
SK Siltron’s investment in Bay County further strengthens the state’s leadership role in the nation’s semiconductor supply chain, state leaders said. The semiconductor industry contributes $4.6 billion to Michigan’s total gross regional product, making him one of the nation’s top states for semiconductor manufacturing.
According to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan’s semiconductor workforce ranks among the top 10 in the nation, and job growth is projected to increase by at least 11% over the next five years.
“SK Siltron’s Michigan initiative will help bring the semiconductor supply chain home, reduce shortages and delays, and create high-paying jobs for Bay City Michigans,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. said at a manufacturing facility ribbon-cutting ceremony in May. .
Gave said production of the company’s silicon carbide wafers is underway in Monitor Township and plans to reach full capacity by 2025.
SK Siltron has expanded its business with many partners, both at the local and state level.
“Bay City’s extraordinary people and strong local partners have allowed us to aggressively expand our operations in the region. The support we have received is truly unmatched,” said Don. I was.
Bay Future, Inc., a countywide economic development organization, is one of the local partners working closely with companies, state and local governments to ensure the investment and job creation that this project brings to the community. is.
The Michigan Strategic Fund Board awarded the project a $1.5 million Michigan Business Development Program grant, according to Bay Future. Also approved his 50% tax exemption for up to 15 years of the state’s mandatory service rating, required for manufacturers who do not pay personal property tax on qualifying property. The exemption amount is estimated at $2,244,000.
In addition, Monitor Township has approved property tax relief in support of the project, along with a state education tax relief approved by the MEDC.
Bringing Chip Manufacturing Back to the U.S.
Semiconductor chips have myriad applications in today’s electronics world.
But the global chip shortage, exacerbated by the pandemic and supply chain problems with foreign manufacturers, has impacted people and industries ranging from automotive manufacturing to home appliances, medical devices, agriculture, defense and more. I’m here.
According to the White House, only 10% of the world’s semiconductor chips are now made in the United States.
Hoping to make the U.S. less dependent on foreign chip suppliers, a bipartisan group of lawmakers last year committed $52.7 billion and more than $24 billion in tax dollars to expanding U.S. semiconductor research, development and production. Passed the promised CHIPS and Science Act. credit.
The Create Profitable Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Sciences Act of 2022, or CHIPS Act, is one of the largest infusions of taxpayer money into a single industry in decades. said the official.
The goal is to bring in billions more to private sector semiconductor investment across the country.
In November, just months after the CHIPS Act was passed, President Joe Biden visited SK Siltron CSS’s new production facility and hailed the company’s investment in Michigan as a “game changer.”
Manufacturing wafers and semiconductors in Michigan will reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign products and promote high-paying jobs, said Rep. Dan Kildee of the congressional district that includes Bay County. .
“New laws like CHIPS and the Science Act are bringing manufacturing jobs back to Michigan, fixing supply chains, and helping Michigan families save money,” said Kildee.
Demand for chips is growing rapidly as automakers race to enter the electric vehicle market and telecom companies expand their ultra-fast 5G networks.
Silicon carbide chips are seen as the future of the EV industry because they help shorten charging times and increase driving range by 5% to 10%, the company said. Wafers have high hardness, high heat resistance, and the ability to withstand high voltages.
A single 6-inch diameter wafer produced by SK Siltron CSS can be used by other companies to produce 450 chips. This is enough to support the power system of up to 8 electric vehicles.
Gave said SK Siltron’s Bay County production facility is the only one of its kind in Michigan. Globally, there are only about 10 companies producing silicon carbide wafers.
“We believe our facility is the jewel in the crown and is on the cutting edge of bringing high-tech manufacturing to Michigan. I hope that.”
Bay Future President and CEO Trevor Keyes said SK Siltron CSS’s investment in Bay County will have a significant impact on residents of the area for years to come.
“This will ensure Bay County and Michigan remain at the forefront of mobility, technology and ingenuity now and in the future,” said Keyes.