Feeds

Siemens Tyneside plant ‘saved’ by Chinese

But what Chinese, how much are they paying, and don't you think the plan looks a bit flaky?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

UK trade and industry secretary is poised to announce a face-saving deal that will keep Siemens' unviable Tyneside semiconductor fab open, according to reports this weekend. But from the sound of it, the proposed 'rescue' promises to be expensive, and of dubious value in the long term. (Earlier story: Chinese consortium interested in UK DRAM fab) Siemens Semiconductor has been hit badly by the collapse of memory prices, and earlier this year announced the £1 billion Tyneside plant, which was opened only relatively recently, would close if a buyer couldn't be found. Despite the infinite improbability factor involved in the concept of anyone today wanting to buy a state of the art manufacturing plant that built not quite state of the art DRAM (which was Siemens' problem, basically), Mandelson set off in pursuit of a buyer. And now, apparently, he's found one. But only sort of. The plant is to be run as a joint venture between Siemens and an as yet unnamed Chinese company. The Chinese get 51 per cent, Siemens 49 per cent. The plant is going to switch from DRAM to telecommunications semiconductors, the idea being that the mysterious Chinese company will gain experience of the manufacturing process in order to construct factories in mainland China producing components for mobile phones. Spot the 'ah, buts…' dear readers. There aren't that many Chinese companies with substantial amounts of money to invest overseas, and the expression "with the aid of major government financial incentives" therefore springs to mind (Siemens, bless 'em, already had some of these). Then there's the class of product to be manufactured - the phrase "expensive retooling" plus associated "major government financial incentives" drifts across our path. And of course, if one studies Siemens' global investment history over the past few years one will find that the company already has major telecommunications, wireless and semiconductor investments and joint ventures in mainland China. Several of these appear on the surface to be driving in the same direction as the radically remodelled Tyneside plant will. So how long do you reckon it will last? And do you think Peter Mandelson is going to tell us how much this cost the mystery new majority owner, Siemens and the British government?

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines
DCMS seeks lowering of legal threshold to fight rogue firms
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
ISPs handbagged: BLOCK knock-off sites, rules beak
Historic trademark victory, but sunset clause applies to future blocks
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.