A US Exim Bank US$610mn loan guarantee will finance US exports of wafer fabrication equipment to expand Chartered Semiconductor’s Fab 7 facility in Singapore.

Chartered will use the financing to buy US-manufactured equipment from Applied Materials; Novellus Systems, LAM Research; Varian Semiconductor Equipment; KLA-Tencor; and numerous other US exporters.

JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York, is the guaranteed lender on the transaction.

The equipment will be used in phase two of the Fab 7 facility.

When fully completed, Fab 7 will be able to fabricate up to 45,000 300-mm non-Dram wafers per month. The wafers will use processing technology from 90 nanometers to 45 nanometers over the life of the project.

“We supported phase one of Fab 7 and welcome participation in phase two,” says Exim Bank chairman and president James Lambright. “This export sale will help create and sustain jobs at the US exporting companies involved in the project and their sub-suppliers throughout the country.”

“Chartered is pleased with the continued support from Exim Bank,” adds George Thomas, senior vice-president and chief financial officer of Chartered. “Today’s announcement follows the US$653mn term loan facility we signed with Exim Bank in 2004 and have been utilising for our capacity expansion. This new financing will help us further build the capacity that is needed to support our customers in the US and elsewhere in the world.”

“We are delighted to support the development of phase two of Fab 7 and to further the support of US exports,” says Margo Gill, JP Morgan Chase’s Ex-Im Bank programme manager.

The Exim Bank financing is a corporate finance transaction, with Chartered being the primary source of repayment. Chartered is an independent specialised contract manufacturer of semiconductors in the world.