Intel has officially acquired the land it needs to build its Ohio-based semiconductor manufacturing facilities despite earlier reports that the company is delaying the plant while waiting for Congress to release funding to support a US-based semiconductor industry.
Intel has spent US$111 million (NZ$180 million) on roughly three square kilometres of land near New Albany, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
This follows a report in NBC that construction crews have already started preparing the land for its expansion.
Intel in late June warned that its Ohio fabrication plant would be delayed because Congress has delayed the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act for America, which was expected to be a part of the funding of the new plant.
The CHIPS Act was passed early this year, but Congress has not yet appropriated the needed resources despite bipartisan support.
An Intel spokesperson confirmed via email that Intel has started development of the Ohio semiconductor manufacturing plant, although the company did not confirm the US$111 million purchase price.
“We are focused now on the initial phase of the project, which includes two factories on approximately 750 acres of land.
The precise acreage for the full project is being finalised, as some land will be allocated for city roads and infrastructure,” the spokesperson said.
When asked about how Intel is starting development despite earlier acknowledgement that it is waiting for CHIPS Act funding, the spokesperson said Intel previously emphasised that it was postponing a ceremony, and that the project itself was proceeding.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger recently unveiled plans to quickly build a world-class semiconductor manufacturing capability to reduce reliance on third-party fabs for manufacturing, including two huge investments in US-based semiconductor manufacturing.
In January this year, Intel unveiled plans to invest US$20 billion-plus to construct two new leading-edge chip factories in Ohio, in addition to the US$20 billion it plans to invest in two new fabs in Arizona and US$3.5 billion it plans to invest in semiconductor packaging facilities in New Mexico.
Intel is looking to expand its manufacturing footprint across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain with an investment of US$87.8 billion over the next decade for building manufacturing plants.
The Ohio-based semiconductor manufacturing plant is expected to create 3,000 Intel jobs and 7,000 construction jobs and was slated for completion in 2025, with total investment in the site reaching as much as $100 billion over the next decade, Intel said at the time.
Building a semiconductor fab can take three to four years, and cost around US$10 billion, according to Intel.
“The private sector cannot succeed alone.
"Federal investment is essential to level the playing field and support American jobs,” the company wrote in a presentation on the importance of bringing semiconductor manufacturing to America.