Friday 21 November 2014

Chip giant Intel reveals $5bn spend on Leixlip plant upgrade

Ailish O'Hora and Adrian Weckler

Published 27/03/2014 | 10:09

Intel's Leixlip plant

CHIP giant Intel has revealed a $5bn spend over the past three years upgrading its Leixlip, Co Kildare facility.

The move underpins the 4,500 jobs at the plant and is one of the biggest investments in the state to date. The company has invested a total of $12.5bn in Ireland over the past 25 years.

The investment has also resulted in an upgrade of its silicon wafer fabrication plants (Fab), creating 5,000 temporary construction jobs at the site.

While it is not yet clear what the plants will be used for,  in 2012 the company indicated that the Leixlip plant was one of three worldwide earmarked to manufacture its next-generation chips which will be 14 nanometers in scale or smaller.

However, it will face stiff competition from markets like Israel which also offers tax breaks to companies like Intel to attract foreign direct investment.

The announcement was made by the publicity shy firm today - the event was attended by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Intel global President, Renée James.

The Government said the investment means that Intel Ireland site will become a high volume site for Intel’s latest leading edge manufacturing process from next year.

“I am delighted to join with Intel on the occasion of their 25th anniversary to welcome the latest news of their ongoing expansion here in Leixlip,” Taoiseach Endan Kenny said. “The expansion, which began in 2011 has resulted in an investment in Ireland totalling $5bn to date and represents the largest private investment in Ireland in the history of the State.”

Intel President Renée James said Ireland’s “combination of the pro-business environment which the Irish government has created together with this investment of $5bn in Intel Ireland have resulted in the creation of a technology campus in Leixlip that is now readying itself to produce some of our most advanced products”.

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