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Japanese chipmaker Renesas says normal production at firefighting plant will take 100-120 days

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TOKYO – Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics said on Tuesday it would take at least 100 days to return to normal production at its fire-hit factory, even as the government urged some Taiwanese companies to help with production of alternative chips.

The company’s chip factory in northeast Japan was hit by fire earlier this month due to a power surge in one of the machines, putting more pressure on the chip industry in the broad sense in the context of a global semiconductor shortage that is affecting the production of cars, smartphones and household appliances. .

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Renesas, which has nearly a third of the global market share for microcontroller chips used in cars, said 23 machines were damaged in the fire and needed to be replaced or repaired, nearly double his estimate. initial of 11.

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Renesas CEO Hidetoshi Shibata told a press conference that if production at the plant looks likely to resume in a month, it is expected that it will take 100 to 120 days for recovery to pre-fire levels. count of the incident.

“I’m not too pessimistic about the situation,” he said. “I think we won’t be too far off the recovery schedule… which is a month away. And our perspective is that the manufacturing capacity will recover as close as 100%. “

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He added that any short-term shipment of alternative chip production was impossible and the company would recoup its losses within the six months ending in December.

Over the next two months or so, he said Renesas would experience related revenue of between 19.5 billion yen and 26 billion yen ($ 177.4 million to $ 236.5 million).

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Renesas stock closed down 0.5% on Tuesday, mostly in line with the wider Japanese market.

Earlier today, Japanese Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said Japan had asked some Taiwanese manufacturers to cooperate in alternative semiconductor production.

“We are in communication with several manufacturers of manufacturing equipment (in Taiwan) to expedite purchasing,” Kajiyama told reporters after a cabinet meeting. “The ministry will also work together for a speedy recovery using all means possible.”

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The Japanese government has called on OEMs to help Renesas restore production, with bureaucrats contacting domestic and foreign companies to ask them to supply parts and machinery to the company affected by the fire, an official told Reuters on Wednesday. of the Ministry of Commerce.

($ 1 = 109,9500 yen) (Reporting by Eimi Yamamitsu; additional reporting by Ritsuko Ando; editing by Shri Navaratnam and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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