Infineon Technology AG plans to repay any subsidies provided for its shuttered U.K. fab if the British government asks for the money, a spokeswoman for the German chipmaker confirmed today.
Press reports in Britain today indicated the U.K. would seek repayment of $29 million (18 million pounds) for aid given to the Infineon fab in North Tynside, England. The Infineon spokeswoman said the firm hasn't yet received any official word from the U.K. government. But, the chip company has said that it would pay back any aid funds if requested.
Some industry reports had surfaced that Infineon might be considering restarting the North Tynside fab to increase DRAM production to match the steep ramp of Micron Technology Inc. and the Korean chip makers. However, Ulrich Schumacher, Infineon president, earlier this month told EBN there were no plans to reopen the U.K. fab.
"We have excess capacity in our other DRAM fabs that we can utilize," he said, adding that much of the production equipment has already been moved out of the North Tynside fab.
One reason the U.K. government may suddenly be demanding its subsidy money back may be a political reaction to Infineon's restructured deal with IBM France to convert a joint production DRAM fab in Essones, France, to making logic chips.
Danny Lam, director of Fisher-Holstein chip industry consultant, said U.K. politicians were upset because Infineon decided to shift logic production to Essones instead of using the shuttered U.K. facility.