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Intel leaving massive new Arizona fab empty for now

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INTEL PHOTO One of the existing Fabs in Chandler, Ariz.

INTEL PHOTO
One of the existing Fabs in Chandler, Ariz.

Intel is leaving vacant a massive new multibillion-dollar computer-chip factory in Chandler, Ariz., that President Barack Obama once touted as a symbol of the future of U.S. manufacturing.

The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday that no employees are working in the facility, known as Fab 42, which was completed late last year and was to bring 1,000 jobs and a $5.2 billion company investment.

Those jobs have been created, but employees are doing the work initially attributed to the new facility elsewhere on Intel’s Ocotillo Campus, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said.

“It will be used for future technologies at a future date,” Mulloy told the Republic of the new building.

There are about 11,900 full-time employees at Intel’s two Chandler campuses. In 2011, when plans for the new fabrication facility were announced, there were about 9,700 full-time employees.

Intel received about $3.3 million in state tax credits from the Arizona Commerce Authority for job creation, the organization reported. The company received credit for 348 jobs in 2011 and 743 jobs in 2012. This credit is available for companies that create at least 25 jobs and invest at least $5 million in capital.

Intel’s newest technology, which is being developed in Oregon and is expected to be deployed in high volumes this year, will be built in an existing facility in Chandler rather than in the new building, Mulloy said.

Chandler city officials said they were not concerned with the delay in opening the facility.

The chipmaking giant also has a major plant in Rio Rancho, N.M., where it announced it was cutting about 400 positions in the fall.

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