Semiconductor plant in Mysuru unlikely
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Semiconductor plant in Mysuru unlikely

August 20, 2023

Israel-based ISMC Analog Fab Private Ltd. had plans to set up Rs. 22,900 crore plant at Kadakola

By Bapu Lingaraj Urs

In a significant setback to industrial development in Mysuru district, India’s inaugural mega semiconductor plant, intended to be established on a 234-acre land within the Kadakola Industrial Area, Nanjangud, at an estimated cost of Rs. 22,900 crore, appears increasingly unlikely to materialise.

International Semiconductor Consortium (ISMC) Analog Fab Private Ltd., an Israel-based company, had envisaged erecting the semiconductor plant here with the purpose of manufacturing semiconductor chipboards. The company’s senior executives visited the identified site near Kochanahalli in Kadakola Industrial Area.

They were convinced of the presence of basic infrastructural facilities, including proximity to Mysuru Airport at Mandakalli, the Kapila River flowing nearby and convenient access to the Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway.

Taking all these factors into account, the company representatives signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Government during the tenure of the previous Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai. The Government committed to providing land at an affordable rate, along with subsidies, sufficient water and electricity provisions and other essential requirements for establishing the industry.

In alignment with the Government’s directives, KIADB officers acquired 189 acres of land at Kochanahalli at a rate of Rs. 47.5 lakh per acre, reserving a total of 234 acres for the semiconductor plant.

Intel’s plan

Sources said that the uncertainty is due to the pending plans of Intel Corporation to acquire Tower Semiconductors, which is a part of the ISMC.

ISMC is one of the three applicants for incentives for silicon-based semiconductor fabs under the schemes announced by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) in December, 2021. ISMC has proposed a 65nm (third-generation semiconductor process) analog-centric silicon fab in Mysuru.

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Promising career plan dampens

The envisioned plant’s core unit aimed to manufacture crucial raw materials for mobile phones, computers, CCTV systems, LCD displays and other electronic goods. This proposal generated significant optimism as it marked India’s first-of-its-kind semiconductor plant, slated for establishment in the Mysuru district. Presently, India imports semiconductor chips from various countries, including China and Taiwan.

Had this plan come to fruition, aspiring engineers from around the world might have gravitated toward Mysuru for promising career prospects. It could have transformed the district’s industrial landscape, creating 10,000 employment opportunities, including 2,000 engineers.

Despite initial hopes, scepticism now surrounds the likelihood of the proposed semiconductor hub becoming a reality. This uncertainty is causing concern, particularly as several existing industries are already facing challenges.

Intel must complete formalities

ISMC Analog Fab Private Ltd., the Israeli firm that entered into an MoU with the State Government for establishing a semiconductor plant in Mysuru has been acquired by the US-based Intel Corporation. Intel must complete several legal formalities to invest in India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is actively engaged in facilitating this process. — Pratap Simha, Mysuru-Kodagu MP

Lack of Govt. co-operation hindering growth

Lack of Government co-operation is hindering industrial progress. The Government should provide comprehensive basic infrastructure to attract industries, thus encouraging investors to proceed with their plans. Failure to do so might lead to setbacks. Since 2013, KIADB has not allocated land to industrialists. Despite having ample land, KIADB seems hesitant to address land requests. This stagnation will hamper industrial development in Mysuru. — K. B. Lingaraju, President, Mysore Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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Industries must flourish

Alongside Mysuru’s development, our industries should also flourish. The Government should foster a conducive environment, irrespective of the ruling party. — Vasu, former MLA and President of Mysore Industries Association

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