(Reuters) -Chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd (TSMC) is in advanced talks with key suppliers about setting up its first potential European plant in the German city of Dresden, the Financial Times reported on Friday.
TSMC is sending a team of senior executives to Germany early next year to discuss the level of government support for the prospective plant as well as the capacity of the local supply chain to meet its needs, according to the report, citing people familiar with the matter.
TSMC said in a statement responding to the report: “We do not rule out any possibility but there is no concrete plan at this time”. It did not elaborate.
While Taiwan and the European Union held-high level trade talks in June, less than a week after that meeting TSMC said it had no concrete plans for factories in Europe.
TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker and Asia’s most valuable listed company, flagged last year that it was in the early stages of reviewing a potential expansion into EU member Germany.
The Taiwanese firm’s talks with several materials and equipment suppliers are focused on whether they can also make the investments required to support the plant, the FT said, adding that if it presses ahead with a Dresden plant, it would focus on 22-nanometre and 28-nanometre chip technologies.
Under the European Chips Act, the European Commission has earmarked a total of 15 billion euros ($15.90 billion) for public and private semiconductor projects by 2030 and use the money to double Europe’s share of the highly competitive chip market.
TSMC is also building a plant in Japan.
The secretary-general of a Japanese ruling party lawmakers’ group on chip strategy said on Friday he believed TSMC is considering a second chip plant in the country.
TSMC said it also did not rule out any possibility for Japan but there were no concrete plans at the moment.
Earlier this month, TSMC said it would more than triple its planned investment at its new Arizona plant to $40 billion, among the largest foreign investments in U.S. history.
The company expects its Phoenix factories to create 13,000 high-tech jobs, including 4,500 under TSMC and the rest filled by suppliers.
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(Reporting by Rhea Binoy in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sam Holmes)