Abu Dhabi receives bids for $6bn microchip plant

14 February 2011

Contractors submit tenders for design and build contract at silicon wafer plant

A subsidiary of the UAE’s Advanced Technology Investment Company (Atic) has received bids for its planned $6bn-plus semiconductor factory at Abu Dhabi.

The contractors bidding for the design and build contract, which includes Germany’s M+W Group and the US’ CH2M Hill, submitted bids in early February after a two-week extension to the tender closing date was granted.

Global wafer capacity*
*=Figures in 200mm equivalent wafers per month. E=Estimate.
Source: www.semi.org

Meanwhile international engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors are lining up to bid for the EPC subcontract for the plant when it becomes available.

“This is something we’re definitely going to be interested in,” says an international EPC contractor. “Abu Dhabi has gone a little bit flat on the oil and gas side and this is going to be a huge contract when it comes available.”

When completed, the plant will be owned and operated by Atic’s US-based subsidiary Globalfoundries and will be located on a three-square-kilometre site next to Abu Dhabi International airport. It will be the first facility of its type in the Middle East (MEED 7:1:11).

The budget for the facility is estimated at $6bn-7bn which is cost to build a fabricating facility of that size.

The factory will start production in 2015 and will be the fourth production facility operated by Globalfoundries. The other factories are located in Germany and Singapore, with a US facility in New York due to come on stream in 2012.

Atic, a technology investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi government, bought a 65.8 per cent share in Globalfoundries for $2.1bn in March 2008 from the US’ Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). In December, Atic increased its share to 86 per cent, with AMD retaining the remainder.

As a private company, Globalfoundries does not report any financial details, but recent reports have said that it expects to post revenues of $3.5bn in 2010.

When Atic bought Globalfoundries, it pledged to invest a total of $10bn into the company. About $3.6bn was set aside for existing plants, with the remainder to be spent on the Abu Dhabi facility.

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