Architect BDP is opening up an office in Singapore to service the reviving market for semiconductor factories.

BDP director Ted Barton said that there are plans for an annual spend of £250m in Singapore alone. He said that the Singapore government, which takes equity in such projects, has been looking at plans to build five plants a year to manufacture the next generation of semiconductors.

Barton, an engineer with BDP, explained that the market for semiconductors is picking up after last year’s sudden dip. In 1998, Hyundai mothballed its £1.25bn semiconductor plant in Dunfermline, Scotland, and LG did the same with its almost complete £200m semiconductor factory in South Wales.

Now, he explained, semiconductor firms are going through a similar phase of development to pharmaceutical companies. Barton said that when pharmaceutical companies start to produce generic versions of other companies’ drugs, they need new factories. He added that semiconductor producers are doing a similar thing in their market. Their factories are called “foundry fabs”.

BDP’s office will initially have a staff of six, all of whom will be experienced semiconductor factory designers exported from the UK. He claimed that the company is on the verge of three deals.

  • Construction consultant Turner & Townsend has been made project manager by 1st Silicon on the building of its wafer fabrication facility in Sarawak, Malaysia. Turner & Townsend was also recently was appointed management consultant to the Malaysian Semiconductor Corporation.