Katrina Could Impact Chip Production
Air Products & Chemicals has shut down a hydrogen gas complex near New Orleans, limiting the supply of an obscure but important component in semiconductor wafer production.Air Products & Chemicals has shut down a hydrogen gas complex near New Orleans, limiting the supply of an obscure but important component in semiconductor wafer production. AP&C shut down the plant on August 31 following Hurricane Katrinas landfall near New Orleans. The plant manufactures hydrogen, used to create epitaxial films on silicon wafers. The company had also scheduled a second plant to be shut down for maintenance near Ontario, Canada.
Analyst firm iSuppli had already warned Thursday that higher oil prices would curb semiconductor growth, the lowest in the current boom/bust cycle of semiconductor production. On Friday, the firm said that the combination of the shutdowns would have an "unknown" impact on chip manufacturing, but that AP&C was considered to be a major supplier of hydrogen to the chip industry.