SR550m deal to develop third industrial city in Dammam

Updated 27 August 2013
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SR550m deal to develop third industrial city in Dammam

Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah signed a SR550 million agreement on Sunday for the development of the third industrial city in Dammam. The contract is awarded for the development of the second part of the city’s first phase, which will be completed in 24 months.
The project includes construction of drinking water pipelines, industrial water networks, sewage networks, rainwater drainage networks and road works, said Saleh Al-Rasheed, director general of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON).
He said a number of new projects are currently being implemented at Dammam-3 including lighting, electricity and road projects as well as construction of 24 model industries.
Covering an area of 48 million square meters, Dammam-3 is located south of the city, along Dhahran-Uqair Road. “Vast areas have been allocated to build housing for workers,” the director general said.
The new city will have petroleum, mineral, plastic, automobile, food and other industries in addition to factories of building materials.
Speaking to reporters, Al-Rabiah emphasized the government’s plan to develop a number of industrial cities all around the Kingdom with state-of-the-art infrastructure.
Last month, Al-Rabiah signed a contract worth SR180 million with officials of Saudi PAN Kingdom Company (SAPAC) to develop Sudair City for Industry and Businesses.
The contract covers the development of residential and industrial area; linking the upload and download of commodities in the North-South Railway; and the development of logistics services.
Sudair Industrial City is currently experiencing the implementation of a number of projects, the most notable of them are: The first phase of the city with a cost of SR572 million, an SR205 million road project and an intersection project worth SR42 million.
“A number of factories have begun production in the city,” said Al-Rasheed, adding that nearly 150 factories are under construction.
Spreading on an area of 265 million square meters, the Sudair Industrial City is strategically positioned, and located 120 km from Riyadh and 160 km from Qassim.


South Korea-Japan trade feud engulfs tech giant Samsung

Updated 17 min 58 sec ago
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South Korea-Japan trade feud engulfs tech giant Samsung

  • Company begins testing non-Japanese material for semiconductors as dispute deepens

SEOUL: Samsung has started testing non-Japanese materials used in producing state-of-the-art semiconductors amid a deepening trade dispute between Seoul and Tokyo.

According to company sources, the South Korean chipmaker has begun testing hydrogen fluoride etching gas from China, Taiwan and some local suppliers.

The etching gas — one of three materials that Japan has decided to restrict shipping to South Korea — is crucial for producing semiconductors since it is used in removing excess material around circuit patterns on silicon wafers.

“We’re testing hydrogen fluoride etching gas from companies outside Japan, such as Taiwan and China, in an effort to diversify supply sources,” a Samsung official told Arab News, asking not to be identified. “We’re also searching for local suppliers of the chemical.”

Testing from new suppliers, however, is to expect to take at least six months, and it remains to be seen if the quality of non-Japanese etching gas will be high enough to be used in the production of semiconductor, the official said, refusing to elaborate new supply sources.

SK Hynix and LG Display have also started testing of non-Japanese high-purity hydrogen fluoride to minimize the impact of Japan’s trade embargo, according to the company officials.

Binhua Group of China is known to be one of the Korean firms’ new suppliers for the etching gas. According to Shanghai Securities News, the chemical company based in Shandong has signed an agreement with South Korean chipmakers to supply etching gas.  

The gas needs to be 99.999 percent pure for it to be used in chipmaking. Companies in Japan maintain top technology levels in the field, taking up to 90 percent of the global market.

HIGHLIGHT

Samsung is the world’s largest chipmaker.

On July 1, Japan announced it would curb shipments to South Korea of three materials used for chip and display production — fluorinated polyimide, photoresists and hydrogen fluoride. The move is widely seen as punitive action for a recent court ruling here that orders two Japanese firms to compensate wartime forced laborers. 

With the Moon Jae-in administration rejecting Tokyo’s demand for third-party arbitration, Japan is expected to take the dispute to the International Court of Justice.

Japanese companies can still export high-tech materials to South Korea, but they are required to get a license from the government. The license could take 90 days to come through even if they are approved.

Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix, the world’s two biggest memory chipmakers, have been hit hardest by the tougher export controls by the Japanese government, as both semiconductor manufacturers rely on Japanese supplies for the materials.

According to the Korea International Trade Association, South Korea imported about 92 percent of photoresists and 43.9 percent of hydrogen fluoride from Japan.

Analysts believe the Japanese trade restrictions will compromise Samsung’s next-generation semi-conductor businesses, such as those based on 7-nanometer chip fabrication. The 7-nano chips are made with technology involving extreme ultraviolet lithography, which requires the use of photoresists.

“Samsung was scheduled to mass-produce 7-nano-chips from the latter half of this year with the supply of photoresists from Japan’s supplier, JSR,” said Lee Mi-hye, a researcher at the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

“JSR-made photoresists are produced in Belgium, so it’s not subject to the restrictions for now. But the foreign branches of Japanese firms would be vulnerable to regulations in the near future.”