Intel postpones $20 billion Ohio plant ceremony due to lack of government funding

Intel is delaying the groundbreaking ceremony for its planned chip manufacturing facilities in Ohio because the US government has not yet provided it with funding, the company confirmed to The edge (through The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal† The ceremony, originally scheduled to take place on July 22, has been postponed indefinitely in a likely effort to push the US government to pass the CHIPS bill.

Intel announced its $20 billion plan to build two semiconductor plants in New Albany, Ohio earlier this year, noting that the expansion to potentially up to eight plants “will be highly dependent on funding from the CHIPS Act.” The CHIPS Act earmarks $52 billion in funding for semiconductor companies, including Intel, to advance chip manufacturing in the US. While the Senate and House have approved their own versions of the bill, the movement on its finalization has stalled in Congress.

Intel told US lawmakers and government officials it is delaying the ceremony “in part because of uncertainty surrounding” the CHIPS law, according to an email viewed by the WSJ† In a statement to The edge, Intel spokesman William Moss reiterates that the “size and pace” of the company’s project will depend on funding from the CHIPS Act. “Unfortunately, funding for the CHIPS Act has been slower than we anticipated and we still don’t know when it will be ready,” added Moss.

Moss goes on to say, “it’s time for Congress to act” so that the company can “move forward with the speed and scale” for its projects in and outside Ohio. Although Intel has postponed its groundbreaking ceremony, Moss says it has not reversed plans to start building its facilities. Construction will still start at the end of 2022 and production will start in 2025.

“We have expressed our belief that there is no reason we should not pass this bill through Congress in July,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement after a meeting on chip-related legislation on Tuesday.

Congress faces mounting pressure from Intel and other government officials to pass a final draft of the CHIPS bill before the August congressional recess. As noted by The mailofficials are concerned that Congress’ slow action on the bill could cause semiconductor companies to turn their attention away from the US.

In May, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warned of the possibility in a statement to CNBC and urged Congress to pass the bill. “If Congress doesn’t pass the CHIPS Act quickly, we’re missing out. Intel, Micron, Samsung — they’re growing, they’re going to build future facilities,” Raimondo said.