TSMC Wins Approval From Phoenix for $12 Billion Chip Plant

The nod is a step toward bringing high-tech manufacturing to the US, addressing national security concerns over the industry supply chain.


November 20, 2020

2 Min Read
TSMC Wins Approval From Phoenix for $12 Billion Chip Plant
A visitor takes photos of TSMC silicon wafer at the 2020 World Semiconductor Conference in Nanjing, in China's eastern Jiangsu province, on August 26, 2020.STR/AFP via Getty Images

Debby Wu and Ian King (Bloomberg) -- City officials in Phoenix, Arizona approved a slate of financial incentives and government support for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.’s planned $12 billion chip plant, a step toward bringing high-tech manufacturing to the U.S. and addressing national security concerns over the industry supply chain.

The city agreed to provide about $200 million to develop roads, sewers and other infrastructure, according to a notice from the city council. At least one additional traffic light will be included for a cost of approximately $500,000. The company is conducting due diligence on several locations in Phoenix with a final decision to be made later.

The decision to locate a plant in Arizona came after the Trump administration warned about the threat inherent in having much of the world’s electronics made outside of the U.S. TSMC, the primary chipmaker for companies like Apple Inc., had negotiated a deal with the administration to create American jobs and produce sensitive components domestically for national security reasons. The Phoenix project is projected to create about 1,900 new jobs over five years, the company said.

“We appreciate the continuous bipartisan support from the U.S. federal, state and city governments,” a spokeswoman for the company said. “It gives TSMC and its supply chain partners the confidence this and other future investments will be successful.”

TSMC has said that it hopes to convince its own suppliers to set up operations in the vicinity of its new fabrication facility over time. Chip giants Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc. already operate facilities in the western state and have helped build a vibrant local semiconductor industry over the years.

TSMC had said that subsidies would be critical in setting up a fab in the U.S., given the additional expenses involved. While Phoenix has approved its infrastructure spending, TSMC is still waiting on state and federal subsidies and incentives that could surpass by far the city’s expenditures.

A representative for the city council declined to comment beyond statements in public documents.

“It is remarkable that this came to fruition during a pandemic,” said Mayor Kate Gallego in a statement. “The payoff is huge. TSMC will create 1,900 high-tech jobs and foster thousands more related jobs in the semiconductor supply chain ecosystem.”

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