O’Fallon, Missouri, manufacturer MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. and parent company GlobalWafers Co., Ltd. (GWC), one of the top three silicon wafer manufacturers in the world, today announced an $800 million agreement with GLOBALFOUNDRIES® (GF®) to expand their regional wafer production facility. The long-term agreement includes nearly $210 million ($209.2 million) in capital expenditures, adds a new type of wafer manufacturing to the facility and expands existing production, including 75 new jobs. MEMC currently employs 215 people at its O’Fallon facility.
Based in Taiwan, GWC, along with semiconductor manufacturer GF, conducted a global site search to determine the location of their expansion. The silicon wafers produced by GWC are key input materials for semiconductors and an integral part of GF’s supply chain. GF transforms them into the computer chips that are found in pervasive technologies like 5G smartphones, wireless connectivity, automotive radar, and aerospace. These chips are currently in high demand all over the world. Today’s announcement expands GF’s domestic silicon wafer supply from the United States.
In the U.S., two legislative acts — the bipartisan-supported U.S. Innovation and Competition Act and the already passed CHIPS for America Act — aim to increase the number of chips manufactured at home and make U.S. chip manufacturing more globally competitive. This national effort helped persuade the two companies to narrow their focus to expansion options within the United States. The support they received from the State of Missouri, Missouri Department of Economic Development, the City of O’Fallon, Ameren Missouri, Spire and AllianceSTL, the business development initiative of Greater St. Louis, Inc., guided their final decision.
The investment these global companies are making in the St. Louis region speaks to their confidence in our talented workforce, reliable infrastructure, and efficient supply chain. This single agreement advances numerous strategies outlined in the STL 2030 Jobs Plan: It strengthens the advanced manufacturing and production industry, it creates high-quality jobs, and it helps transform the region into a hub for next-generation industries and technologies. By welcoming this expansion, we welcome more opportunity for global innovation and growth in our region. Congratulations to MEMC and GWC!