TSMC Plans to Spend $13.5 Billion Expanding Hsinchu Facility

(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract chipmaker, plans to invest NT$400 billion ($13.5 billion) expanding its Hsinchu production facility as it seeks to regain momentum amid a slowdown in the global smartphone market.

The plans is still in the preliminary stages as the company still needs the government to help secure land and work on environmental assessments, spokeswoman Elizabeth Sun said by telephone. Hsinchu serves as TSMC’s headquarters, a major production facility and includes its research and development center, where it builds the latest chip technology.

While TSMC is expanding into new markets such as components for crypto-currency mining, it’s confronting a slowdown in demand from smartphone vendors including Apple Inc. as developed markets get saturated and replacement cycles lengthen. Last week the company forecast revenue for this quarter well short of analyst estimates, setting off a tumble in technology stocks around the world.

Sun said the potential investment isn’t included in its publicly disclosed plan for as much as $12 billion of capital expenditure this year but is incorporated in future projections. She declined to comment on the timeline for the project. Chief Financial Officer Lora Ho has said capex for the next few years will be between $10 billion to $12 billion.

The Taiwanese company is the exclusive core processor provider for Apple’s latest iPhones, and it also makes chips for other major tech companies including Broadcom Inc., Nvidia Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co.

Shares of TSMC rose 0.2 percent in Taipei, paring this year’s decline to about 3 percent.

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