BERLIN -- A US$1.5 billion plan to build a silicon germanium foundry in Frankfurt-an-der-Oder collapsed Friday (November 28, 2003) after public loan guarantees were not forthcoming, according to an Associated Press report.
The foundry, called Communicant Semiconductor Technologies AG, was being backed by the Arab Emirate of Dubai, the state of Brandenburg, the federal government of Germany and received a baseline CMOS process from Intel Corp. on to which it planned to apply its silicon germanium know-how. The plan was meant to help Dubai raise itself into technology industry and the emirate had been developing plans to build a second fab within Dubai.
The Frankfurt plan collapsed when Dubai refused to pay over the final US$105 million tranche of its US$250 million contribution, the AP report said. The emirate had insisted on the project being covered by public loan guarantees totaling US$508 million; but on Thursday, the state government said it had was unable to supply the guarantees.
Ironically and tragically the lights were blazing into Friday evening at the shell of the foundry where construction has been witnessed by a webcam that could be viewed here when this story was first posted.
Manfred Stolpe, the German minister charged with overseeing the revival of the ex-communist east of the country, blamed the European Union for the failure, saying it had demanded a months-long review of the proposed aid, the report said.
The collapse was expected after hints had come out that German authorities' attitudes to Communicant's loan guarantees were changing.
But only days ago U.S. chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc. was able to announce a $2.4 billion wafer fab in the neighboring state of Saxony, backed by some $1.5 billion of government aid.