SK Hynix is promoting the construction of power plants near its semiconductor factories as power outages are repeated at semiconductor plants every year.
SK Hynix is planning to build its own power plants named “Smart Energy Centers” near semiconductor factories in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, and Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province, by 2022.
The power plants that SK Hynix plans to build are LNG-based cogeneration plants. They will generate about 570 MW of electricity a year, an amount that can be used by 500,000 households. A total of 1.68 trillion won (about US$1.4 billion) will be required to build the two plants.
The plan is aimed at diversifying power supply as semiconductor factories need to secure stable power supply in the long term, SK Hynix explained. Power consumption at the company’s chip plants in Icheon and Cheongju will increase sharply as it plans to invest a total of 45 trillion won (about US$38.8 billion) for 10 years to expand their production and R&D facilities.
Semiconductor factories use a lot of electric power and are in constant operation, so securing stable power is vital to their operations. However, power outages occur repeatedly every year, causing concerns among semiconductor companies
In fact, at the end of last month, Samsung Electronics' Hwaseong plant suffered damage estimated to be several billions of won (several millions of U.S. dollars) due to a one-minute blackout. Samsung Electronics suffered a 30-minute blackout at the Pyeongtaek plant in 2018. In the case of SK Hynix, two power outages occurred at the Icheon and Cheongju factories in the last 20 years.
However, to build its own power plants, SK Hynix needs to persuade local residents as power plants emit fine dust.