24 Nov 2021, 09:54

Samsung to build $17 bn chip plant in Texas

  SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 24, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - Samsung said on Tuesday it will
build a microchip factory in Texas, a $17 billion investment that comes as
semiconductor shortages are causing supply chain delays across many

  "Welcome to Texas, Samsung!' tweeted Texas' Republican governor Greg
Abbott, who called the planned factory "the largest foreign direct investment
in Texas EVER."

  The new plant, which is supposed to be operational by the end of 2024, is
expected to create more than 2,000 skilled jobs and "lay the groundwork for
another important chapter in our future," said Kinam Kim, CEO of the South
Korean giant's electronics division.

  The chips manufactured on the site will have applications in mobile
technologies, 5G or even artificial intelligence, the group said. The plant
will be built in the town of Taylor, near the capital Austin.

  The news was welcomed by the administration of President Joe Biden, whose
economics and security advisors Brian Deese and Jake Sullivan said in a
statement that the plant would go a long way to "helping protect our supply
chains, revitalizing our manufacturing base, and creating good jobs right
here at home."

  Samsung, the world's biggest memory chipmaker, has aggressively stepped up
its investment in its semiconductor business as the world battles shortages
of chips that have hit everything from cars and home appliances to
smartphones and gaming consoles.

  Samsung joins its rivals TSMC from Taiwan and Intel of the US in expanding
chip manufacturing capacity in the United States, which sees the sector as an
area of strategic competition with China. TMSC and Intel are building such
plants in Arizona.

  The two presidential advisers stressed that Tuesday's announcement was in
large part the result of discussions between the heads of state of the two

  Samsung, which has been operating in the United States for 25 years, had
filed documents for the project with Texas last January.

  The Texas plant announcement came as Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of
the wider Samsung conglomerate, visited the United States, looking to further
boost its footprint in the world's biggest economy.

  Samsung has enjoyed soaring profits in recent quarters on the back of
strong pandemic-driven demand for electronics and chips.

  Since coming to power, Biden has tried to rally industry around the need to
produce vital components in the United States.

  A number of firms have announced new plants in recent months. TSMC
announced it would build a plant in Japan in partnership with Sony. China's
biggest chipmaker said in September that it would build a new factory in

  US semiconductor giant Intel announced this year that it will invest $20
billion in two new plants in Arizona and that it plans to allocate between 20
billion euros($22.5 billion) and 80 billion euros to manufacture microchips
in Europe over the next 10 years.

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