Intel Announces Plans for New $20 Billion Chip Plant in Ohio

Intel is building a new $20 billion chip foundry in Ohio, where CEO Patrick Gelsinger says the company envisions investing more than $100 billion over the next decade to create a complex of up to eight plants. The move is part of a U.S. effort to increase domestic production of computer chips, alleviating supply chain shortages and reducing reliance on foreign suppliers. The new build, located near Columbus, is an economic boon for Ohio, creating 7,000 construction jobs and eventually employment for about 3,000 people in two flagship factories, and potentially many more jobs through the satellite suppliers nearby.

The New York Times reports Gelsinger was at the White House on Friday, using news of its new Ohio plant to help the Biden-Harris administration tout its latest technology initiatives. The Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) in June and the House and Senate appear to be in the process of finalizing this legislation, which includes funding for the CHIPS for America Act, a $52 billion initiative to encourage more private-sector investment in critical technologies.

“Intel is bringing leading capability and capacity back to the United States to strengthen the global semiconductor industry,” Gelsinger said in Intel’s announcement for the Ohio plant. “These factories will create a new epicenter for advanced chipmaking in the U.S. that will bolster Intel’s domestic lab-to-fab pipeline and strengthen Ohio’s leadership in research and high tech.”

Gelsinger tied the scope of Intel’s total Ohio investment to federal grants associated with passage of USICA, which President Biden, who has championed the legislation, says is “crucial for the economy, national security and economic competition,” NYT writes.

“China is doing everything it can to take over the global market,” Gelsinger said in NYT, adding, “Intel’s move has wide-ranging geopolitical implications, as well as significance for supply chains. Chips, which act as the brains of computers and many other devices, are largely manufactured in Taiwan, which China has expressed territorial claims toward.”

“During the pandemic, they have also been in short supply because of overwhelming demand and coronavirus-related disruptions to manufacturing and labor supply, raising questions about how to ensure a consistent chip pipeline,” Gelsinger added.

Ohio is the first new U.S. state into which Intel has ventured in more than 40 years. The Silicon Valley-based firm in March announced plans to expand its existing operations in Arizona. Intel also has factories in Oregon and New Mexico. Gelsinger, NYT writes, asserted that “a new location was needed to provide additional talent, water, electrical power and other resources for the complex process of making chips.”