Here’s who is building $17B Samsung plant in Central Texas

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has tapped a general contractor for its $17 billion next-generation chipmaking plant in Taylor, northeast of Austin.

Mississippi-based W. G. Yates & Sons Construction Co., also known as Yates Construction, recently announced that it’s working on the 1,200-acre project near the former intersection of County Roads 401 and 404. The facility is expected to be 6 million square feet when completed.

The company is part of The Yates Companies Inc. and is headquartered in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Yates Construction has worked on massive industrial projects before, including manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Mexico for Volvo Group, Toyota Motor Corp., and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., according to its online portfolio.

“Yates Construction is excited to be selected by Samsung to build their FAB 1 microchip fabrication facility in Texas,” Yates Construction President and CEO William G. Yates III said in a statement. “As one of the largest advanced technology manufacturing contractors in the U.S., Yates Construction brings extensive experience across many similar projects. We look forward to a successful partnership and seeing the tremendous impact this project will have on the region and the stability of the global semiconductor supply chain.”

It was not clear exactly when Yates was selected to build the plant, or what the latest construction timeline looks like. Samsung officials declined to comment. But aerial photos taken by CoStar Group show site work has begun.

Samsung previously said it wanted to break ground in 2022 to begin operations at the plant in 2024.

The start of construction marks a major milestone for the project, which could create 6,500 construction jobs in the small town of Taylor. The facility is expected to eventually support at least 2,000 permanent jobs.

Taylor had an estimated population of 16,807 in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and is about 40 miles northeast of Austin.

Samsung has already said that 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.

The South Korean tech giant last month 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.

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