Intel to make Philippines plant company’s largest

Intel Corp. has announced plans to pump in another 4 billion pesos or 5 billion pesos US$78.3 million to $97.8 million) into its manufacturing plant in Cavite, the Philippines, to ramp up production of Pentium 4 processors using 0.13 micron technology.

During a courtesy call to Philippine President Gloria Arroyo last week, Intel Philippines Manufacturing Inc. General Manager Robin Martin said the new investments will make the Philippine site Intel’s largest microprocessor and flash assembly and test factory worldwide.

In a phone interview with Computerworld Philippines, Chit Ventura, regional public affairs manager at Intel Philippines, confirmed too, that the expansion would enable its plant in the Gateway Industrial Park, General Trias, Cavite, to produce other larger 300-millimeter wafers, which produce twice as many chips as the wafers it makes there currently.

“The increased investments will be in terms of new machinery and equipment as well as manpower training,” said Ventura. “It will also be used to support the Pentium 4 ramp, including the latest (Pentium 4) at 2.2GHz.”

The additional investments will also enable the company to consolidate its Philippine operations in Cavite, making it one of Intel’s lowest-cost operations and boosting its global competitiveness, Ventura said.

In the U.S., Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said the company plans to cease manufacturing at its 25-year-old plant in Makati, where it makes flash memory and embedded chips. Most manufacturing employees from the Makati plant will be transferred to Cavite, while products manufactured in Makati will be made in other facilities, Mulloy said.

“Intel will not be hiring additional personnel in the Cavite facility since we are consolidating operations,” Ventura said. “The plan is to train our existing personnel so they can be more globally competitive and competent.” The facility has around 4,500 workers.

Ventura said Intel is also committed to expanding its in-country capability for technology development. This includes product design, assembly technology and test technology development, and additional product engineering ownership.

“Intel is making the investment because it sees that the Philippine site has a long history of manufacturing excellence, producing world-class quality products,” she added. “And this is made possible by the quality of its workforce.”

The investment plan brings Intel’s total investments in the Philippines to about 67.6 billion pesos. In his statements during his call on Malaca