RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – President Joe Biden signed a $280 billion bipartisan bill to boost domestic high-tech manufacturing, part of his administration’s push to boost U.S. competitiveness over China. And one company – Micron – immediately announced plans to invest $40 billion in new U.S. chip facilities.
However, where the plant will be built remains unknown.
“Micron is finalizing its specific U.S. expansion plans and will share additional details in the coming weeks,” the company said in its announcement.
Could North Carolina be on the list? Or might the state land a new plant from Durham-based Wolfspeed?
“All of this is up in the air. Everyone is vying for some money. My opinion is that New York(in spite of the fact that other locations are better suited for the industry), will continue to have momentum as will Ohio and other states that have been much more welcoming and knowledgeable of the industry,” an industry source who requested he not be identified told WRAL TechWire. “Only time will tell. ”
Interestingly, Wolfspeed CEO Gregg Lowe was at the White House for the signing ceremony.
Wolfspeed (formerly known as Cree) is reportedly considering plans to expand its chip manufacturing. And a plant worth as much as $4 billion in Chatham County has been speculated about in the media.
The North Carolina Economic Investment Committee met on Tuesday but no economic development news was announced.
Might Wolfspeed pick its home state?
“Possible, but New York and numerous other states are working hard to lure them as well. to grow there as are other places,” an industry source tells WRAL TechWire. “We’ll see.”
The Rose Garden signing ceremony included lawmakers, union officials, local politicians and business leaders, the White House said, as the president looks to highlight a new law that will incentivize investments in the American semiconductor industry in an effort to ease U.S. reliance on overseas supply chains for critical, cutting-edge goods.
“We are going to invest it in America,” Biden said Friday. “We’re going to make it in America. We’re going to win the economic competition of the 21st century in America.”
The CHIPS and Science Act will subsidize US-made semiconductor chips, which are used to make cars, household appliances and computers. There has been a shortage of semiconductor chips in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and global supply chain disruptions.
The White House said Micron is announcing a $40 billion plan to boost domestic manufacturing of memory chips, and Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries are announcing a $4.2 billion expansion of an upstate New York chip plant.
The Idaho Statesman reported on Friday that an executive for Micron was considering several locations for a new $40 billion plant.
No mention of Wolfspeed was made in The Associated Press report.
Wolfspeed also is shopping even as it opens a new plant in New York state.
According to a state budget proposal, North Carolina appears to be taking aim, again, at luring a semiconductor chip manufacturer to Chatham County.
The description does not name the manufacturer, but would allocate the “sum of one hundred twelve million five hundred thousand dollars” to secure a commitment from a company with “a qualifying project in Chatham County.”
Such a project would be one that would receive a Job Development Investment Grant, JDIG, from the state’s Economic Investment Committee that would tie a minimum job creation target of 1,800 eligible positions and an investment of at least $4.8 billion in private funds.
Media reports have speculated that Durham-based Wolfspeed could pick the Chatham County site for a new factory.
Vietnam-based car manufacturer VinFast recently selected Chatham County for a new car plant.
The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.