Renesas Sets Up Task Force over Plant Fire

Economy

Tokyo, March 20 (Jiji Press)--Major Japanese semiconductor maker Renesas Technology Corp. <6723> has set up an emergency task force for dealing with the aftermath of a fire that has hit its flagship plant in the city of Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture, eastern Japan.

Production had been halted as of 9 p.m. Saturday (noon GMT) at the plant's "N3" building, which houses state-of-the-art equipment. It remains unclear when the company will be able to resume operations at the building.

The plant mainly makes semiconductors for automobiles. A delay in the restart of production could further strain the supply-demand balance for automotive chips, which has already been tight. Supplies of semiconductor products have been in short supply across the globe.

Overcurrent at a chipmaking device at the N3 building led to the fire, according to Renesas public relations officials. At the building, Renesas produces microcontrollers for vehicles using facilities capable of processing 300-millimeter wafers.

The fire, which occurred around 2:47 a.m. Friday (5:47 p.m. Thursday GMT), burned an area of about 600 square meters in the clean room on the first floor of the N3 building, or about 5 pct of the total area of the room.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press