Malaysian Semiconductor Maker Secures Critical Power with Rolls-Royce mtu Powerpacks On-Site

March 13, 2024
X-FAB Sarawak, the Malaysian division of worldwide foundry group X-FAB, will utilize the four mtu Kinetic Powerpacks at its site in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. The company manufactures semiconductor wafers for automotive, industrial and medical applications.

Rolls-Royce has commissioned four mtu Kinetic PowerPack engine sets to provide critical and uninterruptible power for a specialty semiconductor manufacturing plant in Malaysia.

X-FAB Sarawak, the Malaysian division of worldwide foundry group X-FAB, will utilize the four mtu Kinetic Powerpacks at its site in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. The company manufactures semiconductor wafers for automotive, industrial and medical applications.

The mtu units feature medium voltage, parallel system configuration at 1,600 kW. The compact Kinetic PowerPacks replace four older dynamic uninterruptible power supply (DUPS) units from a different brand which were starting to drop critical load from the mains.

The mtu Kinetic PowerPacks use a heavy, rotating electromagnetic coil to compensate for short-term current and voltage fluctuations in the power grid.

“Our project team upheld X-FAB’s strong safety culture, product quality and user-friendly equipment during the entire process,” Elvenrey Rios, the project manager for Rolls-Royce Solutions Asia, said in a statement. “The reliable critical load support by the current mtu Kinetic PowerPacks has also resulted in the customer engaging Rolls-Royce for an additional unit.”

X-FAB’s Kuching plant processes about 30,000 eight-inch-equivalent wafer starts per month, according to the company details. The facility also employs more than 1,400 people.

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The data industry is expanding exponentially, outpacing energy capacity growth in the traditional power grid. Large fab facilities can use as much as 100 MWh of electricity per hour, according to a 2021 blog from Schneider Electric.

Semiconductors are created out of raw materials ranging from silicon, germanium, gallium arsenide or other compounds. The process creating a high-value semiconductor from raw material to completion can often take close to three months, according to reports.

Germany-based Rolls-Royce last year approved its mtu Kinetic Powerpacks for use with renewable diesel such as hydrogenated vegetable oil and other synthetic diesel fuels. The units are based on the mtu Series 4000 and 1600 diesel engines.

Ten years ago, Rolls-Royce fully acquired the mtu brand, several years after taking an initial stake in the business through its joint venture takeover of previous owner Tognum with Daimler. The line of engines was later rebranded under the Rolls-Royce name.


About the Author

Rod Walton, Managing Editor | Managing Editor

For Microgrid Knowledge editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

I’ve spent the last 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. I was an energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World before moving to business-to-business media at PennWell Publishing, which later became Clarion Events, where I covered the electric power industry. I joined Endeavor Business Media in November 2021 to help launch EnergyTech, one of the company’s newest media brands. I joined Microgrid Knowledge in July 2023. 

I earned my Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. My career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World, all in Oklahoma . I have been married to Laura for the past 33-plus years and we have four children and one adorable granddaughter. We want the energy transition to make their lives better in the future. 

Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech are focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.

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