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ASML CEO hints at adding 1,000 more jobs in Korea by 2029

ASML CEO Peter Wennink (ASML)
ASML CEO Peter Wennink (ASML)
Netherlands-based lithography equipment maker ASML is poised to add at least 1,000 more jobs in South Korea by the end of 2029, ASML CEO Peter Wennink said in a conference in Seoul Wednesday.

The move will bolster its partnership with Korean semiconductor chip makers, including Samsung Electronics and SK hynix, the key clients for ASML’s extremely expensive lithography machines that are crucial for cutting-edge chip production.

“This decade, we will add at least 1,000 people more in Korea,” Wennink told audience in his keynote speech at the Semicon Korea 2022 virtual conference.

“We will have anywhere between 2,500 and 3,000 people by the end of the decade, supporting the Korean industry and our Korean customers.”

This heralds ASML‘s unprecedented pace of expansion in its Korean operation, mainly dedicated to maintenance of their machines and training related to the lithography system.

Established in Korea in 1996, ASML’s Korean operation grew to have 1,400 employees in over two decades until September. According to the company, more than half of its employees in Korean operation are in either their 20s or 30s.

This is in line with ASML‘s announced plan in November 2021 to invest up to $200 million in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. ASML Korea aims to set up a management center, a global training center and a local repair center there.

ASML is the world’s only supplier of the industry‘s most-advanced extreme ultraviolet lithography machines, considered key in the world’s race for chips under a 5-nanometer manufacturing process -- with Samsung being one of the competitors. The machine is said to be out of stock until the end of 2022.

ASML‘s Korean arm operates in Cheongju, South Chungcheong Province, as well as Icheon, Pyeongtaek and Hwaseong, in Gyeonggi Province.

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