PLYMOUTH, England — Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. is preparing to begin a £60 million (about $91 million) expansion of its LED manufacturing facility with help from a major loan and a government grant.
This week the company secured a a £30 million loan from Deutsche Bank AG to finance the expansion. Earlier in September the company received a £6.7 million grant from England's Regional Growth Fund to support the project.
GaN wafers. Courtesy of Plessey/Daniel Lynch Photography.
The expansion will provide the base for new solid-state lighting technologies and products, increasing the company's production capabilities by a factor of 30, more than tripling its workforce to about 535 employees and positioning Plessey to capture a significant share of the growing multibillion-dollar solid state lighting market.
Plessey plans to increase its manufacturing capacity from more than 100 million mm2 of GaN material per year to more than 3 billion mm2. Facility renovations will take place this year, with additional manufacturing tools and support equipment arriving through 2017.
"The expansion will bring additional well-paid technical jobs to the site and strengthen our long-term future by providing the base for new lighting technologies and products to be manufactured in the U.K.,” said Plessey Finance Director Chris Bailey.
The Regional Growth Fund supports English projects and programs to raise private sector investment for economic growth and lasting employment. Since its launch in 2010, the fund has invested £2.85 billion (about $4.4 billion) to help businesses grow and employ more people across England.
"The project also aligns very well with national strategies such as the Growth Review, and it aims to increase and support manufacturing in the U.K. to make the U.K. Europe's leading exporter of high value goods and services," Bailey said.
Plessey also manufactures semiconductor products for sensing, measurement, controls and electronics applications.