Poland seeks further Taiwanese investment for new 'Dresden-Prague-Wrocław' semiconductor hub

Misha Lu, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Marcin Fabianowicz, Director of the Investment Department at Polish Investment and Trade Agency

For SEMICON Taiwan 2023, Poland held an Investment and Business Seminar on Sep. 8, seeking investment and cooperation opportunities with Taiwan.

Opening the ceremony, Poland's Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Grzegorz Piechowiak, noted the recent Intel investment in the country and TSMC investment in Germany, observing that a possible new European semiconductor hub will emerge within the Dresden-Prague-Wrocław triangle. Talking to DIGITIMES Asia during SEMICON, several sources from Poland also pointed to a possible TSMC advanced packaging facility in Poland, with a source indicating that a plan would be laid down within five years.

At the seminar, Zbigniew Bedarski, Director of the Branches Coordination Bureau at Polish Investment and Trade Agency, also highlighted the two strategic industrial parks in Poland, including the one in the Wrocław-Miękinia region, where Intel's advanced packaging site will be located. The industrial park will be mainly decimated to semiconductor, while the other industrial park near Stalowa Wola will focus on e-mobility.

According to Marcin Fabianowicz, Director of the Investment Department at Polish Investment and Trade Agency, Poland saw a continuous inflow of thousands of IT specialists since 2021 under the government relocation program Poland Business Harbor. The trend intensified in 2022 with the outbreak of war in Ukraine.

Fabianowicz also indicated that the country hosts around 500 R&D centers, including those from Amazon, Samsung and Intel. Samsung, for instance, runs its largest R&D center outside of South Korea in Warsaw, focusing on natural language processing. Ericsson, likewise, also runs its largest foreign R&D operations in Poland. Intel's largest R&D center in Europe is also in Poland.

The automotive sector plays an increasingly crucial role for Poland to attract semiconductor investment, and Fabianowicz indicated that the auto and e-mobility sector accounts for 10.5% of Polish manufacturing. There are over 340 production companies working in Polish auto sector.

Meanwhile, Poland's battery cell manufacturing capacity has reached 73 GWh as of 2022, the largest in the European Union, with the export value of li-ion batteries reaching US$8240 million in 2022 from US$84.97 million in 2012, accounting for 3% of Polish exports. To maintain the country's leading position in the EV battery industry, Fabianowicz highlighted the necessity to double the production capacity by 2027, exceeding 200 GWh.

Currently, LG energy is the largest Lu-ion battery manufacturer in Poland: factory construction began in 2016 with EUR3.2 billion in investment, and started operation in 2018. The LG investment also brought 20 accompanying suppliers with EUR3.3 billion in additional investment.

For semiconductor cash grants, the director emphasized the government will cover the entire cost gap, with no cap in aid. As a result of the European Chips Act, Poland will also adopt special regulation to speed up investment projects, including shortening environmental assessment, building permits and other administrative decisions.

Alex Lee, senior vice president of ASE subsidiary Universal Scientific Industrial Co. (USI), previously said that Poland stands out as an investment location in terms of multiple factors after USI surveyed various European countries, and that its EMEA strategy begins with Poland.