Chip maker mulls second plant in New York

Aug. 4, 2012 at 10:51 PM
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SAUGERTIES, N.Y., Aug. 4 (UPI) -- GlobalFoundries Inc. proposed building a second computer chip plant in New York state -- this one on the Woodstock '94 festival site, an agency chief said.

"They've spoken with us twice, and they're considering giving us a proposal" to convert the 850-acre Winston Farm property in Saugerties, N.Y., 100 miles north of New York City, into a "high-tech development," Ulster County Industrial Development Agency Chairman David O'Halloran told the Daily Freeman of Kingston, N.Y.

GlobalFoundries of Milpitas, Calif., did not immediately respond to United Press International phone and e-mail inquiries about its interest in the property and related questions.

The company -- created by the divestiture of the manufacturing side of the Advanced Micro Devices Inc. semiconductor company in 2009 -- operates a nearly completed a $6.9 billion plant on 222 acres 70 miles north of Saugerties in Malta near Saratoga Springs.

GlobalFoundries said last month it would invest $2.3 billion in additional equipment to increase production at the Malta plant, known as Fab 8, which employs more than 1,300 people.

The investment is fueled by increased customer demand, Vice President and plant General Manager Eric Choh told The (Albany, N.Y.) Business Review.

GlobalFoundries -- whose biggest investor is an arm of the government of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates -- has more than 150 customers, including AMD and IBM Corp.

"I think there is renewed interest as GlobalFoundries continues to grow up by Saratoga," O'Halloran told the Freeman, adding the Saugerties property was in high demand for chip making because the soil's clay base -- made famous in the abundant mud of Woodstock '94 -- minimizes manufacturing vibrations.

"It's in the top one or two cited locations for chip manufacturing in the United States," said O'Halloran, whose agency offers taxable and tax-exempt bonding for business expansion and relocation.

Woodstock '94 -- commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair, known informally as the Woodstock Festival or just Woodstock -- attracted an estimated 350,000 people and such music superstars as Aerosmith, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Santana.

Woodstock promoter Michael Lang said last month he wanted to build a performing arts center for up to 30,000 people on the same property.

O'Halloran told the Freeman he was unsure if the center and chip-making plant could both operate on the property.

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