Samsung still mulling over foundry plant in US

By Song Su-hyun

Taylor, Texas rises as another possible candidate, but Samsung remains undecided

  • Published : Sept 6, 2021 - 16:45
  • Updated : Sept 7, 2021 - 10:34

(Samsung Austin Semiconductor)
After months of contemplation over the location for a new foundry plant in the United States, Samsung Electronics appears to have one or two final candidates in mind, raising expectations about an imminent decision.

According to news reports and industry sources on Monday, Samsung will soon make its decision on the location of a $17 billion chip plant in the US.

Along with Austin, the state capital of Texas, Taylor in Williamson County, Texas, has recently risen as a possible candidate according to public documents.

The documents show Samsung is looking at a 6.1 million-square-foot land in Taylor ISD, southeast of Highway 79, including plans that would include additional roads being built to access the plot of land and State Highway 130.

Williamson County and the city of Taylor are set to hold a special meeting to discuss and take appropriate action on a resolution in support of Samsung’s selection of Williamson County as the location of its new plant, some local media outlets reported.

However, Williamson County is still not a finalist for Samsung.

In an official comment, Samsung said, “The region is one of five locations the company has examined and has proceeded with incentive talks with local governments. Holding the Sept. 8 meeting is part of usual processes taken in other regions.”

Earlier this year, Austin, where Samsung operates its 25-year-old chip factory was considered the most promising candidate for a new plant, as Samsung looked to be preparing for expansion by purchasing extra land.

But the unprecedented Texas snow storm in February, which cut power for factories for more than one month, forced Samsung to consider the risks of adding one more plant there.

Samsung has been looking at New York and Arizona as well since early this year, industry sources noted.  

“Austin has been seen as a strong candidate since the company has bought land there,” a source said. “Samsung doesn’t have land in Taylor yet, and it is in talks regarding tax incentives and benefits with the city, as it is doing with other cities.”

The competition to attract Samsung’s $17 billion plant that would create as many as 1,800 new jobs is getting fiercer and fiercer.

New York has jumped into the competition with local organizations promoting the advantages and benefits the state can offer Samsung.

The Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park in Genesee County near Buffalo is being promoted as a site that would be supportive of semiconductor investments and businesses.

In Onondaga County, which Intel is also looking at as a possible location for its new plant, the worlds’ second-largest warehouse is scheduled to be completed later this year. Amazon is currently building a distribution center there, too.

There are also expectations that Samsung’s de facto leader Lee Jae-yong will play a role in finalizing the US plan soon.

Some news reports said Lee seems to be preparing for a US trip in the third and fourth week of September.