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Friday, June 26, 1998 Published at 20:22 GMT 21:22 UK

Business: The Company File

Jobs gloom as plant delayed

The plant would have eased unemployment in Fife

A proposed multi-million pound semi-conductor plant in Scotland is be postponed indefinitely, the Korean industrial giant Hyundai has announced.

The factory, planned for Dunfermline, Fife, was to have employed 800 people by the end of 1998.

It was expected that the factory would eventually employ 2,000 people.

The company said there was over-capacity in the chip-making business and blamed big falls in the price of memory chips.

A company spokesman stressed that the Dunfermline plant will play an "important role" in the future strategy of the company.

Local MP Rachel Squire told BBC Radio Scotland that people in Dunfermline were "devastated" by the news.

She added: "I do entertain some hope. Hyundai do seem committed to opening the plant in Dunfermline. I think, in this community, hope has to spring eternal if people aren't to become totally depressed."

Economic turmoil

Scottish Conservative Party industry spokesman Alister Jack urged the government to make sure the project goes ahead.

He said: "Just as the last Tory government had to fight tooth and nail to win jobs through inward investment, so too must this government fight to ensure this project does eventually go ahead."

Scottish Industry Minister Brian Wilson said the delay was "very regrettable".

He added: "We of course understand the market factors which have made it necessary."

An initial delay in the construction of the plant was announced in 1997. The economic turmoil in south-east Asia was blamed.

Last December the Korean industrial group Samsung shelved plans for a £450m investment in Britain.

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