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Intel to invest up to USD4.6B in new Poland chip site

NEW YORK (AFP) – United States (US) chip giant Intel said yesterday it will invest up to USD4.6 billion to build a new site in Poland, creating around 2,000 jobs in the process.

Intel is one of the world’s leading semiconductor firms, making a wide range of products, including the latest-generation chips.

Its new facility, to be located in the city of Wroclaw, “will help meet critical demand for assembly and test capacity that Intel anticipates by 2027”, Intel said in a statement.

Its Poland investment is aimed at helping the European Union (EU) with its goal of developing a more resilient semiconductor supply chain and reducing its dependence on Asia, the statement added.

The EU aims to reclaim 20 per cent of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity by 2030 – twice its current production – and has invested billions in Intel’s chip facilities in Germany and Ireland.

Intel has said its European sites will help with cost efficiency in the EU’s supply chain, and plans to produce EUR80 billion worth of chips in Europe over 10 years.

PHOTO: ENVATO

In mid-April, the European Parliament and EU member states agreed on a plan to develop chip production in the region. Intel has said construction of its plant in Germany, scheduled to start in the first half of 2023, has yet to begin, due in part to inflation.

Germany’s Ministry of Economic Affairs has said it is looking to support construction with additional public aid.

The announcement of Intel’s new Poland site follows a difficult first quarter of 2023 for the firm.

In April, it announced a massive fall in sales for the January-March period because of a steep drop in demand for semiconductors, especially those used in PCs.

It was also affected by falling demand for chips that power data centres, and is struggling to compete with Nvidia for the semiconductors that undergird ChatGPT-style generative AI, a major new chip-hungry sector.

The chip industry is well-known for its volatility, with demand and supply see-sawing with the dips and rises in the world economy.

Its central role in the global supply chain became clear during the height of the Covid pandemic.

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