Electronic chip factories in the US state of Texas are forced to close their doors for a week due to the cold snap. The closure is inconvenient because there is already a global shortage of semiconductors.
NXP Semiconductors, a significant supplier to carmakers and smartphone manufacturers, says it is temporarily shutting down its two factories in Austin, the Texas capital.
The company was forced to do so because the gas and electricity suppliers have suspended their services to the industry. They give priority to residential areas and critical sectors.
Extreme cold and heavy snowstorms have seriously disrupted the Texas power grid. Millions of inhabitants have sometimes been without electricity for more than two days. “We are monitoring the situation closely and will resume operations at our Austin plants as soon as possible,” said David Reed, NXP’s Operations Manager.
The Texas semiconductor plant closures come at a bad time. There is already a shortage in the sector, which mainly has an impact on car manufacturers. GM and Ford, among others, had to close factories in the US temporarily.
Last week, President Joe Biden’s administration said it was considering intervening. In particular, Biden should take a position on the functioning of the supply chain for essential goods.