Intel Corp. confirmed rumors last week that it would spend $20 billion on a new semiconductor fabrication site just outside of Columbus, Ohio.
The computer tech giant revealed on Jan. 21 that it would build two new chip factories or “fabs” outside the state capital about a week after the Columbus Dispatch first reported the news. According to Intel, the new site will create 3,000 Intel jobs and begin producing chips in 2025.
It’s also only the start, Intel hinted. The company noted that the 3,000 expected jobs created are only part of an “initial phase” of Intel’s Ohio operations. According to Intel’s Friday announcement, the New Albany, Ohio, site could accommodate as many as eight factories and draw as much as $100 billion of investment.
“This is how we climb out from these COVID-induced shortages—by investing in our nation’s supply chain,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of American Trucking Associations. “The global chip shortage is having a heavy impact on the trucking industry and our ability to meet the economy’s growing freight demands. Thousands of unfinished heavy-duty trucks sit parked in lots across the country waiting for chip-enabled components, and tens of thousands of more existing trucks are sidelined waiting for repair parts. Truckers know how to get a job done better than anyone, but it’s challenging to move more freight with fewer trucks."
“In addition to incentivizing more domestic production like this,” Spear added. “We encourage the administration to prioritize the allocation of semiconductors for critical industries as identified by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
In the meantime, the computing giant only has plans to build the first two factories. Intel expects construction to begin later this year before it starts producing chips in three years.
Pat Gelsinger, CEO of Intel, said the move shows Intel “leading the effort to restore U.S. semiconductor manufacturing leadership.”
“Intel’s actions will help build a more resilient supply chain and ensure reliable access to advanced semiconductors for years to come,” Gelsinger said. He also hinted that Intel might expand the site in the future, saying the two factories “will create a new epicenter for advanced chipmaking in the U.S.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in a statement called the announcement “monumental news” for the state. A release from the governor’s office said the $20 billion project will be the largest single private company investment in state history.
“Advanced manufacturing, research and development, and talent are part of Ohio’s DNA, and we are proud that chips—which power the future—will be made in Ohio, by Ohioans,” DeWine said. The planned factories will be Ohio’s first semiconductor manufacturing plants.