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Micron to bring microchip plant to upstate New York

Published:Wednesday | October 5, 2022 | 12:06 AM
A sign marks the entrance of the Micron Technology automotive chip manufacturing plant in Manassas, Virginia.
A sign marks the entrance of the Micron Technology automotive chip manufacturing plant in Manassas, Virginia.

Micron, one of the world’s largest microchip manufacturers, announced on Tuesday that it would open a semiconductor plant in upstate New York, promising an investment of up to US$100 billion over two decades and a plant that could bring 50,000 jobs to the state.

The company was lured to the Syracuse area with help from a generous set of federal, state and local incentives, including up to US$5.5 billion in state tax credits over 20 years.

The announcement comes after United States Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer of New York had pushed Micron and the company’s CEO, Sanjay Mehrota, to consider upstate New York for its factory. It also comes months after Congress passed the US$280-billion CHIPS and Science Act, which set aside US$52 billion to bolster the semiconductor industry.

“An investment of this scale in the US is simply not possible without significant government and community support,” Mehrota said at the announcement.

In addition to tax credits, New York has pledged US$200 million for road and infrastructure improvements where the plant is being built in suburban Clay, and US$100 million to a “community benefit” fund. The state also will review supplying the operation with low-cost power.

Companies like Micron manufacture the diminutive chips that power everything from smartphones to computers to automobiles. The CHIPS bill was aimed at bolstering US competitiveness against China and avoiding another chip shortage like the one that derailed the auto and tech industries during the pandemic.

“Chips are essential to our economy, and if we were to lose the ability to manufacture chips here in the United States, it would be a severe, both economic security and national security risk,” Schumer said in an interview with The Associated Press. “This will be the most advanced memory chip manufacturing facility in the United States, and probably the world. And, and it’s located in a place that will really benefit from it.”

Of the expected US$100-billion investment over the next 20 years, the first $20 billion is planned by the end of the decade, Schumer said. The deal is also expected to bring more than 9,000 jobs to Micron, and officials believe it could also bring close to 40,000 other ancillary jobs to the region, from suppliers to contractors, Schumer said.

After signing the US$280-billion bill last month, US President Joe Biden touted the New York investment as proof that it was working.

“Today is another win for America, and another massive new investment in America spurred by my economic plan,” Biden said. “Micron, an American company, is investing US$20 billion this decade and up to US$100 billion over twenty years in CHIPS manufacturing in upstate New York, creating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs. Together, we are building an economy from the bottom up and the middle out, where we lower costs for our families and make it right here in America.”

Micron – based in Boise, Idaho – has several chip manufacturing plants around the world, including in Singapore and Taiwan. The company announced in September that it would invest US$15 billion through the end of the decade on a new semiconductor plant in its hometown of Boise that, the chipmaker said, will create 17,000 American jobs.

“This is like a 21st-century Erie Canal,” Schumer said of the New York plant. “And just as the original Erie Canal did centuries ago, this will help cement the growth of our economy for decades to come, not only in upstate New York, but in the country, since these chips are so vital to so many of our cutting-edge industries.”

AP