Report: Samsung looking in Genesee County for new U.S. chip plant
Samsung Electronics Co. is reportedly looking at Genesee County for a new mulit-billion dollar semiconductor plant.
The Wall Street Journal said Friday that the South Korean electronics manufacturer was considering an investment of as much as $17 billion to build a chip-making factory in Arizona, Texas, or New York. The newspaper cited documents it had view and people familiar with the company’s plans.
Samsung is scouting two locations in and around Phoenix, two locations in and near Austin, and a large industrial campus in western New York’s Genesee County, according to one of the people, the newspaper reported.
The report did not identify a specific location in Genesee County, but the Genesee County Economic Development Center has been developing its Science Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park, or STAMP, in the town of Alabama for several years.
The 1,250-acre site has often been mentioned as a potential site for a large facility or regionally significant economic development project. In August 2020, the STAMP site was cited when reports surfaced that a developer for retail giant Amazon was looking at sites for a regional distribution center and warehouse in Genesee and Orleans County.
The STAMP site is already designed and permitted for construction, with millions of dollars of infrastructure work completed and continuing.
“Development of the 1,250-acre Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park mega site has steadily progressed through the dedicated support of Gov. Cuomo, the New York State Legislature, and our municipalities and utility partners,” Genesee County Economic Development Center President and CEO Steve Hyde said in a statement to The Daily News on Saturday.
“With this support, STAMP has achieved significant site readiness milestones through completion of major site and infrastructure pre-project requirements. These developments, along with our regions abundant talent and low-cost electricity, have enabled increased attractiveness for the large-scale site and utility capacities at STAMP.”
GCEDC traditionally has not addressed rumors about specific projects.
In August 2020, Hyde told The Daily News that the STAMP site was designed to bring large scale projects to the region and that it has “seen a significant uptick in the number of inquiries by corporate site selectors and others interested in the site.”
Samsung’s proposed plant would employ up to 1,900 people and seeks to be operational by October 2022, according to correspondence viewed by The Wall Street Journal between Samsung and the city manager of Goodyear, Ariz., one of the locations being considered.
Goodyear officials are offering a range of incentives, including tax breaks and infrastructure upgrades, according to the letter, the newspaper reported.
Samsung has chip-making facilities in Austin and has expanded there. Last year, the company bought additional land near its existing facilities, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing local land records. Samsung is scheduled next week to ask local Austin officials to relocate a roadway near those facilities, according to a City Council agenda. Discussions about development incentives for the project have appeared on agendas of public entities in Austin and the nearby city of Taylor, according to the Wall Street Journal’s report.
Bloomberg has previously reported that Samsung was considering investing $10 billion or more at its facilities in Austin. The City Council in Austin had a meeting in December after Samsung requested to rezone part of its land for industrial development, according to The Hill.
An important factor in whether plans moved forward will be the availability of U.S. federal government incentives to offset those offered by foreign countries and cheaper costs in other parts of the world, the newspaper said, citing a person familiar with the matter.
While the U.S. has historically not offered federal aid for chip plants, the proposal comes as the U.S. weighs allocating billions of dollars in funding to grow U.S. chip manufacturing and reduce its reliance on overseas manufacturers, according to reports by both The Wall Street Journal and The Hill.
Incentives for chip-making were passed in January with the National Defense Authorization Act, but it has not received the promised funding yet, according to The Hill.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., or TSMC, an industry rival to Samsung, said last year that it would build a plant north of Phoenix and in December bought land for the $12 billion project, according to the Wall Street Journal.
TSMC wants to have its plant up and running in Arizona by 2024, Bloomberg reported.
Samsung is seeking to become the biggest company in the $400 billion chip-making industry and plans to invest $116 billion over the next decade to make that happen, according to The Hill.