Samsung Picks Texas for $17B Chip Plant

Austin. Image by trudi via Pixabay.com

Since January multiple U.S. sites have been in the running for Samsung’s $17 billion semiconductor plant. After scouting locations in Greater Phoenix, near Austin, Texas, as well as a site in Western New York, Samsung has opted to build its new project in Taylor, Texas, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

The decision comes in the context of a global COVID-19-induced shortage of microchips that has undercut many U.S. manufacturing industries.

All eyes on Austin

While other industry-leading firms including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Intel Corp. selected Phoenix for their chip manufacturing plants, Samsung chose this Austin suburb. The metro is already home to the Samsung Austin Semiconductor facility, established 25 years ago. The market continues to draw investors such as Tesla, which is moving its headquarters from Palo Alto, Calif., to Austin.

Earlier this fall, Williamson County and the city of Taylor, Texas, began approving a series of tax incentives to woo the tech giant to a 1,200-acre site just 25 miles outside of Austin.

According to recent CBRE report, net absorption for industrial assets in the Austin market remained positive for the 29th quarter in a row, surpassing 1.5 million square feet in the third quarter. As of the same period the metro had 32 industrial projects underway, totaling 4.4 million square feet and in March, Austin topped the list of the nation’s 10 major industrial projects underway.

Investing in Taylor

Samsung’s investment in the Taylor facility is set to become one of the largest foreign investments for the U.S. economy and the largest economic development project ever in the state of Texas, said County Judge Bill Gravell in prepared remarks, commenting on the incentives approved by the City of Taylor and the Williamson County Commissioners Court.

The performance-based Chapter 381 agreement outlines that Samsung must at least build a 6 million square-foot semiconductor manufacturing facility by January 2026, with the total investment split between $6 billion focused on real estate and $11 billion on machinery and equipment.

If the previously announced construction timeline is kept and construction kicks off in January 2022, production is expected to start by late 2024. The Taylor facility situated on 1,200 acres is expected to create 1,800 jobs, as well as up to 10,000 construction jobs and 24 internships a year.

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