Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Intel to invest €80bn in six EU countries including three in the Mediterranean

Written by Marie-Cécile Audibert on Thursday, March 17th 2022 à 15:35 | Read 528 times

Intel wants to "dramatically advance Europe's position in the semiconductor sector", according to its CEO (photo; Intel)
Intel wants to "dramatically advance Europe's position in the semiconductor sector", according to its CEO (photo; Intel)
EU. To put a "made in Europe" label on its chips, US semiconductor giant Intel unveiled an investment plan for six EU countries on Tuesday 15 March 2022. The first phase of the plan includes a €33bn investment package and the total could rise to €80bn over ten years. "Through this historic investment, Intel plans to bring its most advanced technology to Europe, creating a European next-generation chip ecosystem and addressing the need for a more balanced and resilient supply chain," said a company statement.

The plan will focus first on Germany, with €17bn to build a state-of-the-art semiconductor manufacturing mega-site in Magdeburg that will be operational by 2027. Then Ireland (€12 billion immediately for an extension of its Leixlip site) and Poland (50% expansion of the Gdansk laboratories), but also several Mediterranean countries.

In France, Intel will create its new European Research and Development (R&D) and design centre on the Plateau de Saclay (20 km south of Paris). 1,000 new high-tech jobs (including 450 by the end of 2024) are envisaged in what will become Intel's European headquarters for high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) design capabilities. The site will also host the main European foundry design centre in France for services provided to the company's French, European and global industrial partners and customers.

Investment in R&D

In Spain, as in Italy, the Americans will invest in R&D, manufacturing and foundry services. Negotiations have begun with the Italian government for the creation of a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant for a potential investment of €4.5bn between 2025 and 2027. It is expected to create 1,500 direct jobs and an additional 3,500 jobs with suppliers and partners. Intel also plans to acquire Tower Semiconductor, a company with an important partnership with STMicroelectronics and a factory in Agrate Brianza (Lombardy).

In Spain, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and its ten-year partner Intel will set up joint laboratories in Barcelona to advance computing.

"The investments we are planning are a major step forward for both Intel and Europe. The EU's chip law will allow private companies and governments to work together to dramatically advance Europe's position in the semiconductor industry," said Pat Gelsinger, Intel's CEO. "This broad initiative will drive R&D innovation in Europe and bring advanced manufacturing to the region for the benefit of our customers and partners around the world. We are determined to play a key role in shaping Europe's digital future for decades to come."


20% of the global semiconductor market by 2030 for the EU

The European Commission has just authorised €30 billion of public aid from Member States to semiconductor manufacturers, even foreign ones. Intel has taken this into account in its decision. The EU also announced, at the beginning of February 2022, a €43 billion plan to give itself the means to become a major player in the manufacture of electronic chips. It plans to have 20% of the world's semiconductor market by 2030.

"Intel's investment plans will accelerate advanced chip design capabilities, boost Europe's materials and equipment supplier industry, and serve Europe's strong customer base across all sectors," an Intel statement said. In the same document, the company said "in addition, these investments will attract thousands of additional engineers and technicians, increasing the number of innovators, entrepreneurs and visionaries who will advance Europe's digital and green future".

Intel has been present in the EU for 30 years and currently employs some 10 000 people. Over the past decade, the US company has spent more than €10bn with its European suppliers and plans to almost double this by 2026 as it "strives to rebalance the global silicon supply".

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