Monday 19 February 2018

Intel gets go-ahead for massive expansion at Leixlip plant

Niall O’Connor

INTEL has secured permission to radically expand its Kildare headquarters - a move that could see the creation of thousands of jobs.

An Bord Pleanala confirmed the green light today for a massive 40-hectare expansion at the plant in Leixlip.

Kildare County Council had approved the plans last August - but they were appealed to the national planning authority.

The decision by An Bord Pleanala will allow Intel to work on the next generation of computer chips in Leixlip. However, the company has yet to decide when or if it will go ahead because the Kildare site is competing with other Intel locations including Arizona and Israel for the work.

Speaking to the Evening Herald, government chief whip Emmet Stagg said he believes at least 4,300 jobs could be created.

"This is a major boost for not only Kildare but the entire region. I understand that 3,500 construction jobs will be created as part of the expansion, coupled with 800 permanent manufacturing jobs when it's completed," he said.

"That of course does not even take into account the service jobs that will be created in terms of the spin-off. It's estimated that one and a half service jobs are created by every manufacturing position," he added.

Mr Stagg said that the expansion is "proof" that companies like Intel have confidence in Ireland.

"There has been a number of job announcements in recent weeks. They [Intel] are looking at Ireland and are clearly confident of making a return on their investment."

The expansion would also deliver a potentially multi-million-euro investment for Leixlip and the surrounding areas.

More than 4,500 workers are already based at the plant.

Intel sought a 10-year planning permission for the construction of manufacturing buildings with total floor area of 162,536 square metres, as well as a multi-storey car park accommodating 2,200 cars.

A chemical store and other supporting work buildings are also part of the proposals.

As part of the conditions of the planning approval, Intel will pay Kildare County Council more than €27 million in infrastructure contributions.

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