September 25, 2006 – ASML Holding NV is mulling over plans to open a new $312.5 million R&D facility in Taiwan as its R&D headquarters in the region, and plans could be finalized by the end of next month, according to the Taiwan Economic News.
ASML has technology R&D facilities in Europe and the US, but also aims to open a site in the Asia-Pacific region, with Taiwan and South Korea as potential candidates. But the Ministry of Economic Affairs reportedly sees South Korea as having a “tough national character” which has made ASML hesitant about making investment in that country,” according to the report, referring to comments from senior MOEA officials.
Meanwhile, Taiwan is bustling with 300mm fab activity, including TSMC, one of ASML’s main customers. In addition, most of the chip facilities in China are financially backed by Taiwanese groups, the report noted.
The MOEA has proposed nearly a dozen possible sites for the new R&D center, which would require at least 36,000 sq. ft of space. ASML has shown particular interest in a site in Taoyuan in northern Taiwan, the report noted.