Intel Ireland hoping to secure $4bn chip plant from foreign competition

25 Nov 2016

Image: science photo/Shutterstock

Intel Ireland is hoping to prevent a new $4bn chip manufacturing facility go to another country, as it seeks new planning permission with Kildare County Council.

Despite Intel undergoing a major restructuring effort to prevent any further major losses, Ireland was expected to remain relatively unscathed, as its focus on the internet of things meant its Irish chip manufacturing operations could continue.

However, news that the US corporate division of Intel is weighing up a number of options over where it plans to locate a new $4bn chip manufacturing facility has spurred Intel Ireland into action.

According to The Irish Times, it has submitted new planning permission for the facility to be built at its Irish HQ in Leixlip, Co Kildare, in the hope of showing the US corporate division that it means business.

Intel Ireland is currently three years into a 10-year lease it had previously acquired for any future manufacturing facility if “the corporation needs to use it”.

Smaller facility than once planned

Despite this permission being previously granted, the changing of how its manufacturing facilities are designed means that it was required to submit a new planning permission application today (25 November).

One of the biggest changes to the site, compared with the previous application, is its decrease in size that will see it hire less than the 3,000 staff it had once said it would need.

Included within the application, however, is a necessity for 2,200 car park spaces if the project is to proceed.

However, Intel Ireland will be hoping that it can convince its parent division to open the new facility in Ireland, where it has had a base for a number of decades, ahead of a number of international Intel operations, particularly Israel.

Speaking of its chances, the Irish division said that this application for planning permission was necessary as until it receives the go-ahead, it “can’t even be part of the discussion”.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic