King Mohammed VI was on hand this week in Casablanca to open Morocco’s second plant established by the US-based semi-conductor manufacturer, STMicroelectronics. It will be used to assemble and test a wide range of semiconductor products that are key components in the automotive, telecommunications, home appliances, computers and power conversion industries
ST invested in the project a total of $300 million, of which $107 million has been allocated for the building of the operation’s facilities, including a new assembly and test plant at Bouskoura, near Casablanca and ST's original plant.
The new plant includes 32,000 square meters of clean room area and 4,000 square meters of warehouse facilities. It will produce a range of semiconductor products, intended for international export.
The plant, which is described by STMicroelectronics, as one of its most advanced in terms of automation and technology, will initially employ 733 specialists and is designed to produce up to 25 million integrated circuits a day. When it reaches full capacity, the workforce at the new factory is expected to grow to 2,500.
ST’s original plant in Bouskoura was built in 1979, but the Company's presence in Morocco can be traced as far back as 1952, when a small plant was established in Ain Sebaa. Both plants were subsequently upgraded. ST currently employs 4,827 people in its Moroccan plants.
According to the Pan-African news agency, 20 companies currently operate within the electronics sector in Morocco, employing 5,192 workers. Prominent among them are STMicroelectronics, Aerospatiale, Valtronic, Delphi, Yazaki and Volkswagen. Between the years 1995 and 1999, the sector doubled production and increased exports by 58 percent.
Company figures indicate STMicroelectronics's net revenues in 2000 were $7,813.2 million and net earnings were $1,452.1 million. According to Dataquest's annual ranking for 2000, STMicroelectronics is the sixth largest semiconductor company in the world. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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