The revelation was made by ST CEO Jean-Marc Chery made during a conference call to discuss ST's fourth quarter 2018 results (see ST results provide upside surprise), providing additional information around the company's plan for capital expenditure in 2019 of $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion.
Chery told analysts that part of the capex budget would be used to build a 300mm wafer fab in Agrate. "The construction work of the first stage to support R&D and first industrial deployment phase has already started, with the related building and facilities to be completed and ready to us some equipment for R&D in 2020," Chery said.
The wafer fab will start out as an R&D pilot line initially but be capable of expansion on demand.
Chery continued: "This new fab is designed to be expandable, of course, according to demand, to start volume production starting from 2021. It will be focused on supporting our growth ambitions and leadership in BCD, IGBT and power technologies."
The 2019 capex funds are also earmarked for the normal maintenance of established fabs, plant and infrastructure but Chery indicated two other strategic initiatives the money will support.
Next: The other two legs