ASML is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML employs more than 16,500 people.
ASML Netherlands B.V. has held a NOx emissions trading permit since 2009. In line with Dutch regulations, we have a NOx monitoring plan and send annual reports to the Dutch government on NOx emissions from our installations in Veldhoven with a capacity of 1MW or higher. In 2011, these installations emitted 28.5 metric tons of NOx versus 25.9 metric tons in 2010.1
We compensate part of our NOx emissions by buying certificates, as required under Dutch law. We are looking to limit our NOx emissions within our Energy Management Master Plan by replacing older generation installations with more efficient machines.
In accordance with legal requirements, we measure and record emissions of ozone-depleting substances, such as CFCs, which are present in our cooling installations. The logbooks are subject to internal audits. Furthermore, we record and measure emissions of volatile organic compounds. Emission results show compliance with the Dutch legislation.
Wilton installed a cogeneration unit in 2011, which became operational at the end of 2011. This will lead to inspection and periodic reporting on air emissions starting in 2012.
Industrial activities and buildings in the Netherlands are regulated by ‘zoning plans’. These plans cover many environmental aspects such as soil protection, noise impact and geo-hydrological situations, as well as archaeology and cultural history, flora, fauna and local air quality.
We comply with the restrictions of the zoning plan.
• Our Veldhoven site has a low indicative archaeological value.
• Our Veldhoven site has a high groundwater level that is controlled via a drainage system connected to surrounding surface water ditches.
• No protected or threatened flora has been found on or adjacent to our Veldhoven site. Some protected animals might be there, but our activities would not affect them.
Also for Wilton and Linkou, the archaeological value of the sites and the impact of production activities on flora and fauna are negligible.
We mainly use non-hazardous materials such as metals, glass and modest amounts of plastics and wiring to build our systems. We test machines by processing wafers as if in a real semiconductor factory, using various chemicals for coating and developing. Our systems use extra clean dry air (XCDA) and inert gases such as nitrogen, xenon, neon and helium for rinsing and conditioning, and hydrogen for cleaning. We monitor the use of all gases and chemicals daily.
We manage the introduction of new substances in the company through our chemicals evaluation process. Business departments need permission from the Environmental, Health, Safety and Security department to start using a chemical. We check chemicals against the ASML list of restricted materials (based on worldwide legal requirements such as REACH). We ban all chemicals that are on this list. We also assess whether a chemical might negatively impact the production process. If we do allow a new substance, we ensure staff know how to use it safely. In 2011, 175 new chemical requests were made. We rejected three of these: one chemical could potentially interfere with the lithography process in our cleanrooms; another, a glue, contained a substance that is on the ASML list of restricted materials; and a biocide that is not on the Dutch list of approved biocides.
As ASML is increasing its cleanroom manufacturing facilities, the consumption of several gases has grown to the degree that the supply of these gases will be done from a centralized location (the gas yard) on ASML premises in Veldhoven. This gas yard will be enlarged in the coming years. In preparation for this, all required permits have been applied for and granted and our emergency response plan has been updated. Also, reservations have been made to install hydrogen generation systems.
Centralizing these gases has reduced storage and localized delivery of gas bottles to the different buildings on the campus, and at the same time decreased transport movements to and on the campus.
Nitrogen is generated in the gas yard. Hydrogen, nitrogen and other specific gases are stored and distributed from this gas yard to the cleanrooms.
We use hydrogen when testing our chip-making machines in our cleanrooms. To make sure we handle this substance safely, our Safety Review Board has evaluated all relevant installations, procedures and measurements. We updated our Emergency Response Master Plans and procedures in 2011. The Safety Review Board developed a secure protocol for the use of this hazardous gas. No hydrogen can be used unless the board has confirmed all safety requirements have been met (Also see the section ‘Safety Review Board increased scope’ in this chapter).
In 2011, four minor environmental incidents occurred at ASML Holding premises.
In Wilton, a supplier truck spilled 15 liters (four gallons) of antifreeze on our site, and a hydraulic hose on a forklift broke, spilling approximately eight liters (two gallons) of hydraulic fluid on the site. We reported the incidents to the local authorities, who judged they caused no significant damage to the environment. We were not fined.
Two minor incidents occurred at ASML Veldhoven. Twenty-five liters of hydrogen leaked from the system and two liters of solvent was released into a drain. We notified the local authorities, who decided no action was needed. There was no significant impact on the environment.
1In 2010 we reported 45.2 metric tons of NOx emissions. This 2010 figure is an estimate of the ASML Veldhoven total NOx emissions (45.2 metric tons), based on an extrapolation of the NOx emission figures of installations with a capacity of 1MW or higher (25.9 metric tons). In 2011, we decided not to perform the extrapolation, but only report on the figures as required by the Dutch emission trade system.