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Silicon wafer plant opens in Swansea

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A silicon wafer reclaim plant in due to be opened today in Swansea by Pure Wafer, making it one of the largest ever start-up ventures in Welsh history.

The factory is due to go into production this Summer starting with 120 workers, which Pure Wafer hopes will expand to 250 as the business grows.

The plant will specialise in retreading wafers already used by companies in testing, so that they can be used again for the same purpose. Most of its business is likely to involve the newer generation of larger 300mm diameter wafers.

The Financial Times reports that Pure Wafer raised £34 million in funding from venture capital firm Apex and several banks. It had previously tried to buy the former Siemens semiconductor factory but was outbid by telecommunications supplier, Filtronic.

After this Pure Wafer decided to build a facility from scratch and picked a site in Wales, partly because of the levels of public funding available to it as a creator of jobs in a region with relatively high unemployment. ®

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