Intel has reportedly delayed breaking ground on its planned multibillion-dollar chip manufacturing plant in Ohio after becoming frustrated with Congress’ lack of progress on new legislation that would support the chipmaking industry.
Apparently, Intel thinks that the US government should be pouring money to help its profits and it has become rather indignant that this is not happening.
The groundbreaking ceremony had been scheduled for July 2022 but has now been canceled indefinitely, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. One of the reasons given for the decision was the “uncertainty” around the Bipartisan Innovation Act, also known as the CHIPS Act, which is expected to provide funding for the new facility.
Although the CHIPS Act was passed earlier this year, Congress has dragged its feet over appropriating the resources to implement it, despite bipartisan support. The CHIPS Act includes about $52 billion worth of funding to expand domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research.
Intel Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger is looking to expand his company’s chip-making capacity partly to help the U.S. reduce its reliance on foreign companies. He also has ambitions for Intel to become a contract chip manufacturer that produces processors for other companies.
The planned Ohio facility is one of two new multibillion-dollar chip plants Intel is looking to build in the U.S. In January, the company said it will invest more than $20 billion to construct leading-edge chip factories in Ohio, plus another $20 billion to create two fabs in Arizona.
In addition, it has set aside a further $3.5 billion to build new semiconductor packaging facilities in New Mexico. Intel’s spending plans also extend to Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Spain. In Europe, it has committed to invest $87.8 billion over the next 10 years to build up its manufacturing facilities in those countries.
Intel has said the Ohio chip plant would create 3,000 jobs at the company, plus 7,000 construction jobs. It has been slated for completion by 2025. However, the company also has plans to expand the site further after that date, and could invest as much as $100 billion over the next decade, the Journal said.
Explaining the need for funding, Intel has previously said that it costs about $10 billion to build a new semiconductor fab, and that it takes three to four years to complete one. It’s a huge cost to bear for any private sector company, and Intel has said federal investment is essential to its plans.
Intel said the pause in Ohio is only temporary and that it remains “excited” to begin construction.