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Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger tours the site of the company's new fabs in Chandler.

Intel marks major construction milestone at new Arizona fabs

One of the country鈥檚 most significant construction projects has reached an important milestone in the effort to solidify the United States鈥 position as a leader in the manufacture of semiconductors.

Intel, which for more than 40 years has contributed to the state鈥檚 growth as a chipmaking hub, announced this week that the initial portion of the cleanroom is 鈥渨eather tight鈥 and the 鈥渂low down鈥 phase has begun at the company鈥檚 two new leading-edge chip factories on its Ocotillo campus in Chandler.

Blow down refers to the first step of putting the 鈥渃lean鈥 in 鈥渃leanroom,鈥 as clean, filtered air is pushed into the space that will eventually become the manufacturing fab floor.

The construction of two new fabs in Chandler 鈥 a $20 billion investment 鈥 is expected to create more than 3,000 high-tech, high-wage direct jobs, and 3,000 construction jobs. Additionally, the expansion will support an estimated 15,000 indirect jobs within the local community. Already, more than 13,000 Arizona residents work at Intel.

The new fabs will bring Intel鈥檚 total investment in Arizona to more than $50 billion during its time in Arizona. Intel an estimated $8.6 billion annually to the state鈥檚 economy.

鈥淥ur commitment to Arizona runs deep, and as we expand our operations, we remain dedicated to addressing the growing demand for semiconductors and helping the United States regain its leadership position in this vital industry,鈥 said Dan Doron, Intel vice president and general manager of Fab Construction Enterprise. 鈥淭his milestone represents the result of great teamwork, proficient teams and exceptional craftsmanship of the tradespeople, and it鈥檚 thanks to their hard work that we’ve made such significant progress on our site while keeping our culture of caring and the safety of all as our top priority.鈥

Arizona business community leaders say Intel鈥檚 Arizona expansion is of critical importance to the U.S.鈥 position in the international semiconductor industry.

鈥淲e know that semiconductors are absolutely essential to today鈥檚 economy. As we learned during the pandemic, any disruption to the manufacture of chips or to their supply chain will have serious consequences for economic growth and competitiveness,鈥 Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Danny Seiden said. 鈥淭he announcement by Intel that the new Chandler cleanroom construction has reached this critical phase is not only good news for Arizona, but for the entire country as we look to significantly strengthen our domestic semiconductor output.鈥

The Ocotillo construction site is home to a daily workforce of 6,000 tradespeople who so far have collectively worked more than 10 million job hours on the project, pouring 342,000 yards of concrete and constructing more than a mile of steel trestles.

Intel has a goal to recycle at least 90% of its construction waste. In 2023, the company has kept more than 25,000 tons of construction debris from its Arizona waste streams.

鈥淚ntel is not only a leader in the manufacture of semiconductors, but it鈥檚 a sustainability leader, too,鈥 Arizona Manufacturers Council Executive Director Grace Appelbe said. 鈥淲hether by recycling its construction waste, conserving and restoring water to achieve net-positivity for water use, or relying on green energy sources to meet its power demands, Intel is setting the example for sustainable manufacturing.鈥

Intel announced the investment in the two new fabs in March 2021 and broke ground in September of that year.

PHOTO: Accompanied by construction crews on Oct. 12, 2023, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger tours the company’s two new fabrication plants being built in Chandler, Arizona. The new factories on the company’s Ocotillo campus are part of Intel’s multibillion-dollar global manufacturing build-out, which includes new or expanded facilities in Oregon, New Mexico, Ohio, Malaysia, Ireland, Poland, Israel and Germany. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

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