Samsung Electronics has settled on the City of Taylor, 35 miles northeast of Austin, for construction of a $17 billion new chip plant, the Korea JoongAng Daily reported Monday. Measuring 51.7 million square feet, the new facility would be four times larger than Samsung's existing plant on East Parmer Lane in Austin.
Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell confirmed a meeting this week of Samsung representatives and local officials, saying the chip plant would be a "significant economic development project with thousands of jobs" brought to Williamson County.
He added, "Good paying jobs for all skill levels to drive economic growth in our region are needed now more than ever, and we are committed to doing everything we can to land this project and bring it home to Williamson County. Stay tuned."
No official announcement has been made by Samsung. A spokesperson issued the following statement to Austonia: "All sites are under consideration and each community is performing the appropriate due diligence to put themselves in the best position for this opportunity. The actions by Williamson County and City of Taylor are part of their due diligence."
A special joint meeting of the Williamson County Commissioners Court and the Taylor City Council is scheduled for 5 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the Taylor ISD Event Center, 3101 N. Main Street in Taylor. The meeting is open to the public.
Joongang Daily, quoting a source at the South Korea-based tech giant, reported that Samsung "has thoroughly reviewed four to five locations for the Star Project."
"What I learn is that (Samsung) finally chose Taylor after taking into account investment incentives and geographic conditions," the source said. The deal is said to include tax abatement and development agreements with the City of Taylor.
Samsung had considered several other U.S. locations. They included upstate New York; Phoenix, Ariz., and in the Manor, Tex., ISD, near its existing Austin plant. The newspaper said the Manor site was abandoned following the temporary shutdown of the Austin factory because of a power outage during the Texas freeze in February. The outage reportedly cost Samsung $350 million.
That turned Samsung off on the Manor site, according to an "industry insider" quoted by Joongang Daily.
"If you set up the new facility in a location away from the Austin plant, it could cost Samsung more for the supply of water and electricity and the establishment of other infrastructure," the source in the semiconductor industry said. "But the advantage is that it can operate the line in a more stable manner."
Samsung is engaging in a vast expansion of its semiconductor business to meet the demand for chips in telecommunications, biopharmaceuticals, robotics, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
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Giga Texas, the massive Tesla factory in southeast Travis County is getting even bigger.
The company filed with the city of Austin this week to expand its headquarters with a new 500,000-square-foot building. The permit application notes “GA 2 and 3 expansion,” which indicates the company will make two general assembly lines in the building.
More details about the plans for the building are unclear. The gigafactory has been focused on Model Y production since it opened in April, but the company is also aiming for Cybertruck production to kick off in mid-2023.
While there is room for expansion on the 3.3 square miles of land Tesla has, this move comes after CEO Elon Musk’s recent comments about the state of the economy and its impact on Tesla.
In a May interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, Musk said the gigafactories in Berlin and Austin are “gigantic money furnaces” and said Giga Texas had manufactured only a small number of cars.
And in June, Musk sent a company wide email saying Tesla will be reducing salaried headcount by 10%, then later tweeted salaried headcount should be fairly flat.
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