THE manager of a leading Newport technology firm is set to be grilled by MPs at a parliamentary committee this week.

On Tuesday, July 5, leaders of the biggest companies in the UK semiconductor industry are set to give evidence to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee.

It comes as part of the committee’s inquiry into the sector.

And, as part of this session, two companies with strong ties to Newport are set to send representatives.

One of these is Americo Lemos, the chief executive of IQE, a global technology firm with a site on Celtic Way in Newport.

But, attention will likely be drawn to the presence of Toni Versluijs, general manager of Nexperia UK – the owners of Newport Wafer Fab.

Last year, Nexperia took over the Duffryn-based facility, which is the UK’s largest microchip factory.

The move attracted attention due to Nexperia’s ownership structure.

Though it is a Dutch business, it has strong links to the Chinese Communist Party, as it is owned by Chinese firm Wingtech Technologies.

At tomorrow’s committee hearing, Mr Versluijs will answer questions about the takeover of Newport Wafer Fab, which is understood to employ 450 people in the city.

Currently, the £63 million buyout is being examined by the government due to security concerns over the company’s China links.

Semiconductors are an essential component of computer chips, and a global shortage of them has impacted production and trade of a range of goods around the world such as the Mini and the PlayStation 5.

There are also concerns that shortages contribute to price inflation, and there remains a risk that amid the shortage, China could be working to stockpile the valuable asset.

Also appearing at the committee is Paul Williamson, senior vice president and general manager of multinational chip designer Arm.

The committee will question company leaders on how they have been affected by supply shortages and about weaknesses in the supply chains they rely on.

There may also be questions about how the UK Government could help the country’s industry by investing in it, and what could be done to improve the skills base in the UK’s labour market.

List of witnesses in full

According to the UK Government website, the following people are expected to be present at the hearing:

At 10.15am

  • Toni Versluijs, general manager BG MOS Discretes, Nexperia;
  • Americo Lemos, chief executive, IQE;
  • Dr Simon Thomas, chief executive, Paragraf;
  • Professor Ken Young, technology director, Manufacturing Technology Centre.

At 11.05am

  • Simon Beresford-Wylie, chief executive, Imagination Technologies;
  • Paul Williamson, senior vice president and general manager, Client Line of Business, Arm;
  • Dr Andrew Rickman, chief executive, Rockley Photonics.

At 11.45am

  • Rina Pal-Goetzen, director of global policy, Semiconductor Industry Association;
  • Trish Blomfield, UK country manager, Intel.