JTC to apply cost-savings features to attract more wafer fab plants

Industrial developer and landlord JTC Corporation is planning to build cost-savings features into upcoming wafer fab clusters to attract more such companies into Singapore.

It is looking at implementing a centralised power and water plant in each wafer fab cluster, which could help companies save hundreds of thousands of dollars in operational costs.

Wafer fab plants are heavy utility users.

Currently, each production plant has its very own power unit that provides clean chilled water, specialty gases and waste treatment for its operations.

Heah Sooh Poh, Director, Specialised Parks Development Group, JTC Corporation, said, “So if you have a park, and you have four or five companies, then you’ll have four or five such small little plants within the companies’ premises itself.”

To save space in land scare Singapore, JTC plans to centralise all such functions into a “Multi-Purpose Utilities Service Provision Model”.

What that means is sharing one common water and electricity generating unit among by all the wafer fab plants in one cluster.

JTC said the model is already implemented in petrochemical plants on Jurong Island, as in the biomedical industry.

It said the shared utilities plant would be outsourced to a third party provider, leaving companies to concentrate on wafer fab production.

The move is expected to help companies shave off more than 40 percent in overall utility costs – based on the savings by companies using a centralised cooling system.

Heah Sooh Poh said, “In terms of capital costs to the wafer fab companies, they do not have to put in the investment to build up such utility plants. The other one is really manpower costs, in terms of maintenance.

“The plant would be more competitive compared to those that don’t enjoy the savings. This would either translate into better margins for them. (Or) they could actually reduce the margins, and still make very good profits. So I think that’s the advantage to the wafer fab companies.”

JTC said it is already in discussions with upcoming wafer fab plants in Singapore on implementing the system.

It is expecting to call for tenders for a third party utilities and power provider before mid-2009.

JTC expects the application to be fully implemented in the next three years, starting with the North Coast Wafer Fab Park in Senoko.

There are plans to extend it to other wafer fab clusters like those in Woodlands, Pasir Ris and Tampines.

The latest plans come as JTC celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

There are currently 14 wafer fab plants in Singapore, about half of the 25 that the country targets to have. – CNA/ms

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 2 Jun 2008

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