Pall Corp breaks ground on $140m facility in S'pore, boosting semiconductor industry

(From left) Pall Corporation global operations vice-president Aaron Rivers, Deputy Chief of Mission for the US Casey Mace, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan, Pall Corporation president Naresh Narasimhan and Pall Microelectronics vice-president Shangaza Dasent at the ground-breaking ceremony on Aug 30, 2022. PHOTO: PALL CORPORATION

SINGAPORE - Filtration solutions producer Pall Corporation is setting up a new US$100 million (S$139.6 million) manufacturing facility in Singapore, which will support the semiconductor industry's needs in Asia-Pacific.

The facility will occupy a 2.8-hectare (about the size of seven football fields) campus that will include more than 18,000 sq m of manufacturing and office space. When fully operational, it will more than double Pall's current production capacity.

High-volume manufacturing and research and development capabilities are slated to be completed between late 2023 and early 2024.

More than 300 jobs in science, engineering and manufacturing will be created with the new site.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the new manufacturing facility in Jurong Industrial Estate was held on Tuesday (Aug 30), with Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan attending the event.

The company had announced the investment earlier in May this year, noting that additional capacity will be added in subsequent years.

Pall supplies filtration and purification solutions that are utilised in advanced node semiconductor manufacturing, which require clean fluid streams to avoid potential contamination and defects.

Impurities in the chip manufacturing process can result in costly downtime and significant reduction in yield.

The United States-headquartered firm, which set up in Singapore in 1984, employs about 120 people here. The Republic is the global headquarters for Pall's microelectronics business unit.

Mr Naresh Narasimhan, president of Pall Corporation, said its investment demonstrates the company's commitment to help its customers meet challenging defect reduction goals, and puts it in good stead to serve the growing demands of chip manufacturers in the region.

The expansion of Pall's production in Singapore further strengthens the semiconductor ecosystem here and deepens the Republic's role in the global semiconductor supply chain.

In recent months, global chipmakers like Nvidia and Micron Technology have warned of fading demand for semiconductors against the backdrop of a weakening global economy.

Investors look to be increasingly skittish as the traditionally cyclical semiconductor industry looks to be moving toward a slump, after years of shortages that saw industry players make heavy investments in expanding capacity.

In reply to a question on whether current sentiments in the industry have any bearing on plans for Singapore, Mr Narasimhan noted the cyclical nature of the microelectronics business and emphasised the firm's long-term view.

"We have a deep understanding of cyclical demand and we stay focused on the broader industry trends that will drive demand. As a whole, the entire world is digitising, driving demand for advanced semiconductor chips, that is why we continue to expand our capacity," he said.

Speaking at Tuesday’s event, Mr Tan noted how the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed challenges to global supply chains, and how it has meant that in manufacturing, there is a need to plan  for “not a just in time, rather a just in case situation”. 

Singapore believes the long-term growth prospects for the global semiconductor industry are very strong, and it is one of the more robust industries in a very volatile macroeconomic environment and volatile equity market environment, he added.

The Republic is committed to growing its electronics sector in the coming years, with good progress made on the electronics industry transformation map and broad strategies being developed in areas such as research and development, talent and sustainability, Mr Tan said. 

“This will allow Singapore to grow new capabilities and to remain a critical node for advanced electronics manufacturing and innovation.”

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