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U.S.-based DuPont to build a photoresist manufacturing plant in S. Korea

U.S.-based DuPont to build a photoresist manufacturing plant in S. Korea

Posted January. 10, 2020 07:53,   

Updated January. 10, 2020 07:53


Global chemical company DuPont based in the U.S. will build a manufacturing plant for photoresist, which is used for the production of the semiconductor, in Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province.

The photoresist is one of the three key materials subject to Japan’s export regulations on South Korea. The South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced on Thursday that DuPont President Jon Kemp finalized the decision for investment in South Korea and submitted an investment declaration to the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) on Wednesday. The chemical company will begin R&D activities and manufacturing in Cheonan by investing 32.5 billion won to facilities for build extreme ultraviolet (EUV) photoresist. The material sector predicts three to five years for development completion and commercialization.

EUV photoresist is a key material for the ultra-fine process of the semiconductor and used to draw circuits on the semiconductor wafer. Japan’s Shin-Etsu, JSR, etc. account for over 90% of the global market. South Korea used to be extremely reliant on the Japanese-made EUV photoresist – Japan’s accounted for 93.2 percent of the total import to South Korea of about 370 billion won in 2018.

Since Japan’s export regulations were imposed, South Korean players adopted the roundabout trade method to import from a joint venture between Belgium and Japan or simply hung on with the limitedly allowed amount by the Japanese government. As the operation of the upcoming DuPont plant begins, South Korean businesses, such as Samsung and SK Hynix, will be able to diversify their suppliers.

Hye-Ryung Choi herstory@donga.com