PLYMOUTH, ENGLAND – 29 September 2015 – Plessey announced today that it is to carry out a major expansion of the company’s LED manufacturing facility in Plymouth, England, after securing a £30 million ($50 million) loan from Deutsche Bank AG to finance the expansion.
The £60 million ($100 million) expansion will provide the base for new solid state lighting technologies and products, increasing the Company’s production capabilities by a factor of 30, more than tripling its workforce to about 535 employees and positioning Plessey to capture a significant share of the multi-billion dollar, and growing, solid state lighting market.
Plessey’s award winning GaN-on-Silicon technology has the ability to cut the cost of LED lighting by using standard silicon manufacturing techniques instead of more traditional, expensive, sapphire-based manufacturing.
According to a new market research report*, the solid state lighting market size is projected to reach $22.2 billion by 2020, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.31% from 2015 to 2020. The market will be driven by high brightness LEDs delivering higher energy efficiency in all lighting applications, with solid state lighting forming a significant part of global efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Iain Silvester, Plessey’s CFO, said: “Deutsche Bank is providing us with a senior secured term loan facility that meets our financial needs for the next three to five years. The bank has come up with a progressive flexible facility that supports our expansion plans for our manufacturing capacity here in Plymouth. Plessey will increase its manufacturing capacity from over 100 million square millimetres of Gallium Nitride material per year to more than 3 billion square millimetres. The facility modifications, which are also supported by £6.7 million from the Regional Growth Fund, will take place during 2015, with additional manufacturing tools and facilities coming on stream through the end of this year through to 2017. During this time we expect about 400 new jobs to be created.”
Michael LeGoff, Plessey’s Chief Executive Officer added: “We are entering a very exciting period for the company with our new technology and products now gaining traction in one of the fastest growing technology markets, solid state lighting. The expansion is highly significant for the Company but also for British high-tech manufacturing. It aligns well with national strategies, such as the Growth Review, that support manufacturing and make the UK a global leading exporter of high value goods.”