Reports: Chip Company Considering Chatham County Site No Longer Interested

NEW HILL – Triangular Innovation Point was scratched from the list by a semiconductor industry project team that had previously reported that it was considering the site for a possible manufacturing facility.

This development was reported for the first time by the Chatham News & Record with additional reports conducted by the News & Observer.

WRAL TechWire previously reported that the site could attract interest from semiconductor manufacturers, although other companies are also actively considering the site.

“We are fortunate to have a lot of interest and activity in Chatham County,” said Michael Smith, president of the Chatham Economic Development Corporation, in an interview with WRAL TechWire. “We’re getting a number of looks from a lot of big operations, and we’re very lucky for that.”

And those conversations have accelerated over the past 6 to 12 months, Smith said. “Many major operations are looking to shorten their supply chains,” he added.

Semiconductor companies would consider Triangle for a massive fab

Chatham County is home to the Triangular Innovation Point (TIP) as well as the website Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing (CAM), both state-certified and ready for investment, Smith told WRAL TechWire.

“”These two state-certified 2,000+ acre sites right here between two of the largest metropolitan statistical areas in the state,” Smith said.

Sources previously told WRAL TechWire that the number of entities considering the 2,150-acre TIP site in Chatham County ranged between 15 and 20.

The TIP site may be the only conceivable location in North Carolina to locate a semiconductor factory, a semiconductor industry executive told WRAL TechWire earlier this month. Other site affiliates have told the News & Observer that the site is not looking for companies in a specific industry, including Jason Kaplan, the managing member of Moncure Holdings LLC.

Chipmaker: talent, power, “favorable regulatory environment” among the factory’s new priorities

Kaplan mentioned the possibility that a company with ties to the electric vehicle industry might be interested in one or both Chatham County sites in the interview with the News & Observer.

Toyota Motor Company announced a $1.29 billion investment in Randolph County in December. John Boyd, Jr., a site selection consultant, told WRAL TechWire in November that the electric vehicle industry is “a particularly timely target for North Carolina.”

The CAM site in Chatham County is a ten-minute drive from the Toyota site, Smith told WRAL TechWire.

“Opportunities for companies considering this CAM site,” Smith said. “That’s another exciting thing we have going for us,” he said, adding that Toyota’s announcement “puts us on the map, and it’s a growing industry that we would be interested in, if the opportunity presented itself”.

Toyota move ‘makes NC a hub’ for electric vehicles, economic development official says

“Toyota can view North Carolina as a fertile recruiting location, becoming a top employer of choice in the nascent and soon to boom electric vehicle industry,” Boyd, Jr. added.

Chatham County sites may also be of interest to life science companies. Smith noted that the recent announcement by FUJIFILM-Diosynth Biotechnologies to invest $2 billion in Holly Springs, as well as the selection of a site in Lee County by Abzena, Pfizer and Audentes Therapeutics, could lead companies to consider the Triangle Innovation Point site. ““Our Triangle Innovation Point site sits right in between the two sites that have seen great success in life sciences over the past six to 12 months,” Smith said.

“2021 was a banner year, and it was really exciting for all of us, and I can’t wait to build on that momentum, because it looks like 2022 is going to be another great year,” Smith said. “It’s a good time to be in North Carolina.”

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