Micron Launches $15 Billion Idaho Project Amid Federal Pressure On US Tech Manufacturing

On Thursday, Micron announced it would invest $15 billion to build a new semiconductor factory in Idaho — just weeks after Congress passed $52 billion in new money to boost domestic chip production.

Micron’s announcement is just the latest in a series of multi-billion dollar plans to jump on the Biden administration’s recently passed CHIPS and Science Act. Last month, Micron said it would use the law’s new subsidies to invest $40 billion in US-based memory fabs, or manufacturing plants, by 2030, creating an estimated 40,000 new jobs. The new Boise plant is expected to create 17,000 new jobs over the next eight years, including 2,000 Micron jobs.

In a statement from ThursdayMicron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra thanked the Biden administration for finalizing the bipartisan chips legislation. “Our new state-of-the-art memory manufacturing plant will fuel the US technology leadership and ensure a reliable domestic supply of semiconductors critical to economic and national security,” said Mehrotra.

President Joe Biden celebrated Micron’s latest investment in a statement on Thursday, calling it “another great victory for America.”

But until last month, it wasn’t clear whether the CHIPS and Science Act would make it to the finish line this year. When it stalled in Congress, Intel postponed a groundbreaking ceremony for a new $20 billion chip factory in Ohio, going as far as proposing the Biden administration to catch up with an abandoned Chinese factory rather than waiting for funding approval. These pitches scared lawmakers, according to The New York Timesand forced them to pass the bill more quickly.

Shortly after Biden signed the law, The Columbus Shipment reported that the president would attend another groundbreaking for Intel’s factory this month. The company claims it would be the “largest silicon production site in the world” and would require 7,000 workers to build.

Last week, Biden signed an executive order to begin rolling out the billions in subsidies to manufacturers like Micron and Intel. Biden’s order has set up a new interagency council to oversee the rollout, but it’s unclear when the Commerce Department will officially make the new funding available.

Through Biden administration priorities such as funding CHIPs and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the federal government has invested billions in creating domestic engineering and manufacturing jobs.

“This week we have seen First Solar, Toyota, Honda and Corning make important announcements of new investments and new jobs as a direct result of my economic plan,” Biden said on Thursday. “In our future, we will be making EVs, chips, fiber optics and other critical components right here in America, and we will have an economy built from the bottom up and from the middle.”

In April, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm $3.1 billion in funding available to US companies to build and recycle lithium-ion batteries to boost the adoption of electric vehicles. Earlier this week, an energy startup Sparkz announced plans to build a new battery plant in northern West Virginia.

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