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Renesas To Restore Full Production Capacity Of Fire-Damaged Chip Factory By End Of May

Renesas To Restore Full Production Capacity Of Fire-Damaged Chip Factory By End Of May
Even after restarting of production at its fire ravaged unit on Sunday, the Japanese firm Renesas Electronics Corp, which is also a major supplier of automotive semiconductors for the global auto industry, said that it is trying to recoup all lost production capability at the factory that was damaged because of a fire by the end of May.
It was about four weeks ago that a fire caused by an electricity overload at the 300mm chip line at its Naka plant northeast of Tokyo of the company ravished an area of about 600 square meters (6,458 square feet) and destroyed 23 machines and caused damage to the sensitive clean room at the unit as it was filled up with smoke and soot. On Sunday, the Japanese firm managed to restart operations at that firm. 
Renesas Chief Executive Officer Hidetoshi Shibata told an online press conference that the company will be able to restore production capacity at of half of the plant line at Naka by the end of the current month even though it will take the company 70 more days to ramp up to full production at the plant.
 The halt in production of semiconductors at the company’s plant because of the fire has been a blow to the auto makers of the all around the world which already have been struggling with a shortage of chips as there has been a surge in demand of such chips from consumer electronics makers. That global auto chip shortage has resulted in some Japanese auto companies such as Nissan Motor and Honda Motor to curb production even as there was a rebound of demand for their cars following the pandemic slump.
About one third of the global market share for microcontroller chips that are used in cars is accounted for by Renesas.
Shibata said that in order to address and prevent similar incidents of fire in the future, a complete new fire extinguishing equipment is being installed at the factory by the company.
Equipment makes of the country have been asked by the Japanese government to help Renesas to restore its production capacity. The Japanese industry ministry officials requested firms within Japan as well as foreign firms to provide parts and machinery to Renesas.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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