Hynix to close plant, lay off 1,100

Hynix to close plant, lay off 1,100

EUGENE, Ore. --  A Korean semiconductor manufacturer that employs more than 1,100 people in Eugene plans to cease production in the next two months, according to Mayor Kitty Piercy, who met with the company chairman today.

Hynix chairman Jong-Kap Kim (at left) met with Oregon's governor, Ted Kulongoski, today in Salem before meeting with Eugene city officials and the president of the University of Oregon this afternoon and evening.

The governor issued a statement at 5:51 p.m. after declining to comment earlier in the day.

“The Hynix announcement today of their intention to close their Eugene facility is disappointing and comes at a difficult time for the Eugene community," Kulongoski said in the release. “Hynix has played a significant role in Eugene’s economy and their departure not only impacts their employees but the entire county, particularly coupled with the loss of the county payment program.

Kim declined to comment today after meeting with the mayor, but the company issued a press release at 4:55 p.m.

 “Our fabrication facility in Eugene, which was originally designed to produce eight inch wafer memory chip, can no longer remain competitive in an environment where the industry standard is migrating toward a 12 inch wafer chip,” DongGyun Kim, Hynix Semiconductor Manufacturing America's President and CEO, said in the release.  “As a result, products manufactured by eight inch wafer facilities — like our facility in Eugene — are currently causing Hynix serious losses, which hinder our ability to remain competitive in the ever-evolving worldwide memory industry.  We are grateful for the support we’ve received over the years from the Eugene community and regret the need to close our facility.”

Piercy said Kim told her the company remains committed to a long-term relationship with Eugene and hopes to continue using the existing facility in the future.

"I would say that they are looking at the potential of the facility and in conversation with several potential partners about whatt that facility might be used for in the future that can provide jobs and good wages for people in our community," Piercy said.

Hynix semiconductor employs more than 1,100 people working at the manufacturing facility in west Eugene with a total payroll of $62 million. The company is Lane County's second biggest taxpayer, paying about $4.7 million in property taxes, according to county records.

The company faces a possible injunction against production of computer memory pending the outcome of a legal battle with a company called Rambus. | DOCUMENT

The company spent $1.4 billion to build and equip the factory in 1997.