Semiconductor wafer maker plans $ 300 million expansion in Bay County
BAY CITY, MI – A South Korean manufacturer of electric vehicle parts is the latest company to expand in Bay County.
Semiconductor wafer maker SK Siltron CSS has announced that it plans to invest $ 300 million and in turn create up to 150 well-paying skilled jobs in Bay County over the next three years. The investment is being made to provide increased manufacturing and R&D capabilities in advanced materials for electric vehicles, according to the company. SK Siltron CSS manufactures a special silicon carbide wafer that can be used in solid-state power components in electric vehicles.
“The growing popularity of electric vehicles is pushing the automotive industry to seek out new and innovative technologies to meet customer demand,” said Jianwei Dong, CEO of SK Siltron CSS. “Our expansion into Michigan will allow us to manufacture advanced materials that can improve the performance of an electric vehicle and support the growth of a more sustainable automotive future. “
The expansion will more than double the company’s employee base in Michigan and add a new site in Bay City to join its existing site in nearby Auburn, according to a press release. The company said in the press release that 70% of new employees at the Bay City site will be skilled workers while 30% will be professional engineers.
According to information provided by SK Siltron CSS, the wafers it manufactures are more efficient at handling high power and conducting heat than normal silicon. When used in EV system components, this feature can allow more efficient transfer of electricity from the battery to the engine, increasing the range of an EV by 5-10%, the company said.
However, no timeline is yet available for the expansion, as the SK Siltron CSS project is currently pending national and local approvals.
SK Siltron is a global manufacturer of semiconductor wafers based in South Korea. The company acquired a silicon carbide wafer business in Michigan in 2019 and established SK Siltron CSS as a U.S. subsidiary. Since then, SK Siltron CSS said in the press release that it has doubled its employee base in Michigan, currently employing around 130 skilled workers and professional engineers.
SK Siltron CSS joins the ranks of several companies making significant investments in the region. For example, brine company Wilkinson Minerals plans to invest $ 150 million in Bay City to establish a mining operation at 101 Picard Street.
Wilkinson Minerals originally planned to invest $ 50 million in Bay City to start operations there. However, the company announced in April 2021 that its planned investment amount for the Bay City project reached $ 150 million.
The Bay City Times previously reported that the more than 20 acre Picard Street waterfront site is located on a large deposit of calcium chloride brine in what is known as the Sylvania Sandstone Formation. Wilkinson Minerals also chose the Bay City site because of its proximity to the Saginaw River and the resulting easy access to the Great Lakes for shipping their products.
Wilkinson Minerals plans to drill 4,000 feet below Bay City in a giant reservoir to pump 450 gallons per minute of brine.
Bay City and Bay County have also seen investors from the marijuana industry monitor the area. In October 2020, the Bay City Times reported that the Bay City Commission had approved an application for an industrial facilities tax exemption certificate for Shango Park Bay City Inc. to allow the company to rehabilitate a vacant building in 24,800 square feet located at 1601 Garfield, with the intention of transforming the property into a state-of-the-art marijuana grow facility. The approved FTI was for a total amount of $ 7 million for 12 years.
More from MLive
Salt and Marijuana Mine Producers Urge Bay City to Consider Utility Depots for Large Businesses
Frankenmuth’s River Place Shops turns 20 in Little Bavaria
Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra launches crowdfunding campaign for summer concert at Wenonah Park
New co-op ‘The Sunshine Shoppe’ retail store opens in downtown Bay City