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[EXCLUSIVE] Samsung going bigger in Texas with site enlargement plan

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Tuesday July 12, 2022

Old and new investment zones. Areas outlined in red will be added. [CITY OF TAYLOR]

Samsung Electronics has applied to add land to the site of its Taylor, Texas, chip manufacturing site, increasing the footprint by almost 14 percent.

The Korean chip maker has filed a request with the city clerk to enlarge the boundaries of the existing investment zone, according to the documents on the City of Taylor website.  

Two filings listed the expansion of investment zone as an agenda item for a city council meeting set for July 14.  

The new land area totals 176.76 acres (71.5 hectares), the documents said, an equivalent to 13.9 percent of the existing 1,268-acre site.  

“Samsung has submitted a request to amend the boundaries of the existing Reinvestment Zone # 2, to incorporate more properties purchased after the original ordinance was passed in September,” the documents read.  

“This only expands the footprint of the zone and makes the new properties eligible for any abatements,” they read.

Samsung Electronics filed an application for a soon-to-expire tax incentive program in Texas in May.    

The Suwon, Gyeonggi-based chipmaker plans to custom manufacture high-performing system-on-chips. The selection of the location is intended to get a better access to big clients, like Qualcomm and Tesla.  

Underground utilities are being installed and building foundations are being established for the factory, which will sit on 138 acres of land.

A groundbreaking, which was supposed to have been held in the first quarter of 2022, has not been announced.

The company’s plan to expand the size of the project site comes at a tricky time for chip manufacturers.  

With weaker demand and a delay in the allocating of funds for the CHIPS Act in the United States, TSMC and Intel are postponing the building of their facilities in the country or delaying construction.

Intel said that its $20 billion project in Ohio is being put on hold because Congress has dragged its feet on funding, while a TSMC board member warned of delay.  

“The addition of the land appears to be based on more long-term perspectives,” said Jeong In-seong, a semiconductor specialist who authored “The Future of the Semiconductor Empire.”

“As the pace of construction in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi, shows, Samsung has shown a very flexible approach in adjusting production after it acquired a massive plot of land,” Jeong said, projecting that the Taylor plants will produce chips marketed 5 nanometers or smaller.  

Samsung Electronics started production of 3-nanometer chips last month in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]