Poverty struck Intel looks for help from Israel

Chipzilla has popped around to have a word with its chums in the Israeli government with its cap in hand to get some money for its latest expansion.

Intel wants the Israelis to pony up a few shekels so that it does not have to pay so much for its new factories in the Promised Land.

Intel wants to expand its chip plant in southern Israel and is seeking a government grant for part of the cash.

According to Israel’s Industry and Trade Ministry, Intel wants to spend $4.8 billion expanding its technology to produce wafers with 15-nanometre technology at its Fab 28 chip plant in Israel’s southern town of Kiryat Gat.

Israel’s government has not said how much Intel is wanting, but the Israeli media thinks that the cash is about $500 million to $960 million., This is based on the fact that Chipzilla always asks the Israeli government for between 12-20 percent of its planned investment.

The pay off for the Israelis is that the new plant will hire 1,300 new employees at the plant and rase the workforce to 4,400.

Intel told Reuters  that the company had put in a grant request but he said this did not mean it  would go ahead with the upgrade and expansion. In other words, if the government does not write the cheque it will expand somewhere else.

It looks almost certain that the Israelis will underwrite the cost of Intel’s expansion plans. Industry and Trade Minister Shalom Simhon described the grant application as a vote of confidence by Intel in Israel’s operations and he hoped it would mean the expansion of its activities and investments.

The Kiryat Gat plant is already being upgraded to become Intel’s second worldwide to produce the smaller, next-generation 22 nanometer chips at a cost of $2.7 billion. The first will be in the United States.

At the beginning of the year Israel  approved a $200 million plus grant for Intel to upgrade to 22 nanometers.