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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March, 2005, 14:03 GMT
Korean firm repays grant millions
John Major at the launch of the LG complex
LG's investment was welcomed by then-Prime Minister John Major
The Korean firm which failed to bring 1,400 promised jobs to south Wales has paid back the 36.65m it received from the Welsh Development Agency (WDA).

Hynix, formerly LG Semicon Wales Ltd, had pledged to create hundreds of jobs in Newport when it was awarded grants to set up in the late 1990s.

But the semiconductor plant was never brought into production.

On Monday, it transferred parts of the plant and buildings worth 17m to complete its repayments to the WDA.

It had already transferred around 55 acres of serviced land adjacent to the semiconductor plant, which was valued at 6.65m, and made another payment of 13m.

The WDA is still trying to sell the vacant Semicon plant to another employer.

The repayment of the grant and the return of the site to the public sector has enabled Hynix to withdraw honourably
Hynix spokesman

In total, Hynix had invested a total of 131m in the construction of the 100,000 square metre plant, which had been billed as one of Europe's biggest inward investments.

Nic Neal, from the WDA, called the settlement "a very good one for Wales".

He added: "It reflects the fact that Hynix has taken full responsibility for public sector assistance given to it at Newport.

"Like us, Hynix wishes to see the site brought into use for the benefit of the local economy and we shall be redoubling our effort to find a new owner who can use this facility to create skilled and sustainable jobs for the Newport area."

A spokesperson for Hynix said: "Hynix is extremely disappointed that the changes in the global semiconductor market have meant that it has been unable to progress this major project in Newport, and that it has had to write off the major part of its investment.

"However, the repayment of the grant and the return of the site to the public sector has enabled Hynix to withdraw honourably and at no cost the public purse."

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