Construction work is underway on one of the Austin area’s largest projects: Samsung Electronic Co. Ltd.’s $17 billion next-generation chipmaking facility in Taylor.
Drone photos taken by the Austin Business Journal in late June show initial site work being done at the roughly 1,200-acre site for the project in Taylor, about 40 miles northeast of Austin. The facility is rising near the former intersection of County Roads 401 and 404 and is expected to be 6 million square feet when completed.
Representatives from the South Korean electronics giant said that “no formal groundbreaking has been scheduled at this time.” The company previously said it hoped to start construction in 2022 and complete it in 2024. An online portal for permits in the city of Taylor does not show any permits associated with the tracts owned by Samsung, as of late June.
“Preparation for the Taylor site is progressing well and the timeline is on track,” said Michele Glaze, director of communications at Samsung Austin Semiconductor LLC.
The start of construction marks a major milestone for the project, which is expected to have ripple effects across the whole region – and especially in Taylor, which had an estimated population of 16,807 in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Mississippi-based W. G. Yates & Sons Construction Co., also known as Yates Construction, a veteran of massive manufacturing projects across the U.S., recently announced that it’s working on the project, but the online post has since been taking down. Officials have previously said building the plant could create 6,500 construction jobs, while the facility is expected to eventually support at least 2,000 permanent jobs.
Samsung has said its Taylor plant will manufacture its most advanced computer chips ever. President Joe Biden recently toured Samsung’s plant in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, the largest semiconductor factory in the world, which the White House said will be a model for the Taylor facility.
And it could be just the start of expansion in the Austin area for Samsung, which has had a massive manufacturing facility in North Austin for decades. Samsung had about 3,200 employees in the Austin area in the first quarter.
Samsung in May was approved by school boards in Manor and Taylor to pursue 11 new incentives agreements designed to provide tax breaks for large manufacturing projects. While the company did not reveal the scope of the potential projects, the type of incentives sought by the company signify expansion is possible — including potentially more fabrication plants, or fabs — both at the Taylor site and in North Austin.
A handful of Samsung suppliers have revealed potential projects in the region.
Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT), which supplies almost every major semiconductor company in the world with equipment and software, is eyeing a massive project in Hutto that could create 500 jobs and result in $2 billion in capital investment.
United Kingdom-based Linde PLC (Nasdaq: LIN), the largest industrial gas company in the world, is looking to build on the Samsung campus in Taylor in an investment that could top $300 million.
Valex Corp., which makes ultra-high purity process components used in semiconductor production, is opening a facility in Round Rock.
Toppan Photomasks Inc. recently had an application for school district incentives denied in Round Rock, but is still eyeing expansion in the city, which is just down the road from Taylor.
Glaze added that Samsung is already following through on a commitment to be part of the community, noting that its inaugural class of interns from Taylor High School started a six-week summer internship on June 13.
“Samsung is working to fulfill our commitment to the City, school district and county to be good partners and neighbors,” she said.
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