As noted in TECHCET’s Analysis Report on “The Impact of Chip Expansions on The Europe Wet Chemical Supply Chain”, fab expansions in Europe will require the support of additional chemical supplier investments otherwise semiconductor fabricators should prepare to look for alternative sources for key chemicals. In the report, TECHCET stated six chemicals were deemed to be at the highest risk of supply interruption, as confirmed by major Europe chip fabricators. These chemicals are hydrochloric acid (HCl liquid & gas), sulfuric acid (H2SO4), hydrofluoric acid (HF), ammonia hydroxide (NH4OH), and isopropyl alcohol (IPA).
In the past several years, Europe’s electronics wet chemicals (and gases) supply-chain has been suffering from interruptions at an increasing frequency, and they were expected to worsen for a number of reasons. For one, there has been a general lack of interest from chemical & gas suppliers to invest in upgrading older facilities for local wet chemical supply. Additionally, there have been increased dependencies on Asia / China that are plagued by logistics issues. Finally, stringent environmental regulations have made it difficult for companies to keep up with.
“Some chemical suppliers in Europe will consider investments if market conditions warrant the IT and capital support/co-investment is in place. If economically viable, a new plant, rather than an expansion of an existing plant, is advantageous in providing improved quality and higher purity chemicals needed to support advanced process nodes,” states Dan Tracy, Sr. Director at TECHCET.
TECHCET has determined the 16 nm and below process segments will undergo the strongest fab expansion growth over the next six years in Europe. For the supplier, building a new facility will better enable the manufacturing of higher-grade chemical, but the demand and volume projections need to be there to justify this type of supplier investment.
For more details on the Europe Chemical market segments, issues, and growth trajectory go to: https://techcet.com/product/the-impact-of-chip-expansions-on-the-europe-wet-chemical-supply-chain-new/