13 October 2010


Belgium’s Umicore opens US germanium wafer plant, bolstering 6” capability

Materials technology firm Umicore of Brussels, Belgium has officially opened its new germanium (Ge) wafer production facility at its site in Quapaw, OK, USA, which is on the same campus as the firm’s germanium optics and high-purity chemicals operation for the US market.

The Grand Opening was held in the presence of almost 100 guests including CEO Marc Grynberg and Oklahoma State’s Secretary of Commerce Natalie Shirley. Umicore says that it has invested several tens of millions of dollars in the 40,000 square-foot facility.

Picture: Umicore CEO Marc Grynberg and Oklahoma’s Secretary of Commerce Natalie Shirley at Grand Opening.

Two years after the ground-breaking in October 2008, the completion of installation work and testing at the new facility makes Umicore the only Ge wafer manufacturer with high-volume production facilities on two continents (North America and Europe). The firm says that this enables it to respond flexibly to demand for Ge wafers in a growing market.

The production operation is modeled on Umicore’s Olen facility in Belgium, which has supplied millions of substrates for space and terrestrial photovoltaic applications. The firm says that its new Quapaw plant embodies proven equipment and an advanced product tracking system.

Picture: Umicore’s new facility for Ge wafers in Quapaw.

“Global demand for Ge wafers is set to rise significantly in the years to come,” says Carl Quaeyhaegens, general manager at Umicore’s Substrates business line. “This is why we pursue an ambitious production expansion plan. With our production facilities in the United States and Belgium, we are now in an ideal position in terms of quantity and quality to meet rising demand,” he adds. “In addition, Quapaw will enable us to strengthen our global lead in 6-inch Ge wafers.”

See related items:

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