AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott and Samsung leadership formally announced Samsung’s roughly $17 billion chip plant is coming to Taylor, Texas, just northeast of Austin.
During a Nov. 23 press conference, Abbott said the plant will make advanced chips used to power everyday devices such as smartphones, gaming consoles, automobiles and medical devices. These semiconductor chips are also needed to maintain national security, he added.
"This is the largest foreign direct investment in the state of Texas,” Abbott said. “The implications of this facility extends far beyond the boundaries of Texas, it is going to impact the entire world.”
The announcement comes as there is a global shortage of semiconductor chips that has disrupted many industries, increasing supply chain issues with tight supplies, raising prices and extending wait times.
The Biden Administration launched the Supply Chain Disruption Task Force in June to address short-term supply chain bottlenecks brought on by the pandemic and the economy reopening. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) too has been working on an incentive grant program to bring semiconductor manufacturing to the U.S.
“Of course I had another goal in mind that this legislation ensured that these chips wouldn't just be made in America, but hopefully be made in Texas,” Cornyn said. “I hope Texas will become the U.S. hub for semiconductor manufacturing nationwide.”
The new plant is expected to bring approximately 2,000 tech jobs, as well as thousands of construction and security jobs, many of which will be union-based, according to Samsung officials.
Samsung will benefit from incentives at the city, county, state and federal levels but exact breakdowns were not immediately available. It will also be the largest single-facility paying taxes in Williamson County, officials said.
The 6 million-square-foot facility across 1,200-plus acres will be located southwest of downtown Taylor and about 15 miles from Samsung Austin Semiconductor location. It is expected to begin construction in the first quarter of 2022 with production in full-swing by the end of 2024.
“Texas is working with Samsung to provide long-term solutions for the world's growing shift toward investments of this magnitude,” Abbott said.
News of tech-giant Samsung selecting Taylor first broke the evening of Nov. 22 by the Wall Street Journal. Taylor beat out New York, Arizona and Austin for the site.
Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell said that while the city has a current reputation of being small and secluded from the buzzy city lights of Austin, it has a rich history in being pro-business and pro-industry.
“I see this as a reclamation of the early Taylor with that same attitude and that same forward-looking approach,” Rydell said. “With Samsung, this is going to create a future for Taylor that's going to be even more dynamic and exciting than our glorious past.”
This is the second Samsung factory to call Texas home with its first opening in 1997. Located in Northeast Austin, the structure became the South Korean conglomerate’s first semiconductor plant in the U.S. Ten years later, the company opened a $3.5 billion chip manufacturing plant at the same location, and in 2016, Samsung announced it would spend $1 billion to upgrade its 300 acre Austin manufacturing complex.
Samsung’s expansion in Central Texas joins other tech giants who too are expanding their presence in the area.
Oracle announced in December Austin would become home to the software giant’s headquarters. In 2020, Tesla announced it is building a 4.28 million-square-foot gigafactory in Southeast Austin with a separate announcement in October by CEO Elon Musk that it too will make Austin its home base. And Apple’s new $1 billion campus, also located in Williamson County is expected to be completed in 2022.
“This is a historic event not just for Williamson County but for the entire state of Texas,” Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.