TOKYO (Reuters) – Renesas Electronics, a key supplier of automotive semiconductors, said it will restart production at its advanced chip plant in northeast Japan after a quake on Saturday cut power to the facility and shut it down.
A resumption of full output will, however, take a week, which could delay some shipments at a time when customers, particularly carmakers, are struggling with a global chip shortage.
“We will do what we can to ensure there is no disruption to supplies,” a Renesas spokeswoman said.
The 7.3 magnitude tremor off Japan’s northeast coast caused strong shaking at the Naka factory in Ibaraki prefecture, which has the company’s only cutting-edge 300-millimeter fabrication line.
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has warned that aftershocks from the latest quake could last for several days.
In 2011, a deadly magnitude 9 quake shut the plant for three months. After that temblor, which killed 20,000 people and destroyed the Fukushima nuclear plant, Renesas spent four years and around 200 million yen ($1.90 million) reinforcing its factories with shock absorbing dampers. It also increased stockpiles off fragile glass components to minimize stoppages.
The measures have made Renesas better prepared for earthquakes, a spokeswoman and in 2016 allowed the company to bring a plant in Kyushu back on line within a week after a major quake there.
($1 = 105.2700 yen)
(Reporting by Tim Kelly. Editing by Gerry Doyle & Simon Cameron-Moore)