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BASF expands production facilities in Yeosu to meet Asian demand

According to Yonhap News,

(SEOUL=Yonhap News) BASF, the world's leading chemicals company, has expanded its production facilities in South Korea to meet growing demand in the domestic and Asian markets, the company said Monday.

The German chemicals company has just started operation of a new electronic materials plant in Yeosu, 455 kilometers south of Seoul, to produce ultra-pure NH4OH, or electronic-grade ammonia water, used in the semiconductor and display manufacturing processes, BASF said in a statement.

BASF plans to further expand the mainstay Yeosu plant in line with aggressive facility investment by its Korean customers such as Samsung Electronics Co., SK hynix Inc. and LG Electronics Co., Boris Jenniches, vice president in charge of BASF's electronic materials business in the Asia-Pacific region, said in a press conference held in Seoul.

In 2017, when the semiconductor market is expected to grow 15 percent from a year earlier, he forecast Samsung Electronics will exceed Intel Corp. in terms of sales and investment in production facilities.

In this photo taken Nov. 27, 2017, Boris Jenniches, vice president in charge of BASF's electronic materials business in the Asia-Pacific region, delivers a briefing on the German chemical company's expansion strategy in South Korea. (Yonhap)

In the past four years, BASF has set up an "ecosystem" ranging from research and development to production so it can continue to grow in the Korean and Asian markets, the vice president said.

"Korea is a strategically important market for advanced electronic components, especially semiconductors and displays. The production facility ideally complements our local R&D presence in Korea, where we develop next-generation technologies in close partnership with our customers," Lothar Laupichler, senior vice president at BASF Electronics Materials, said in the statement.

BASF, which already runs seven plants in Korea, aims to further strengthen its production capabilities through the new electronic materials plant, it said. The new plant is an expansion of the existing seventh production facility in Yeosu.

The senior vice president said the latest investment will "ensure fast-track ramp-up of chemical solutions from lab-scale to mass production, provide reliable supply, and deliver consistent product quality that meets the ever-increasing purity requirements for next generation semiconductor and display technologies."

In South Korea, which is home to the world's leading chipmakers Samsung Electronics Co. and SK hynix Inc., BASF set up the Electronic Materials Asia Pacific Regional Headquarters in Seoul in 2013 and the Regional Electronic Materials R&D Center Asia in Suwon, just south of Seoul, in 2014.

By Choi Kyong-ae

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Source: Yonhap News (Nov. 27, 2017)
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