Intel confirms plan to upgrade main plant in Israel
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
May 2, 2014 - 9:12 AM

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Intel, the US chip giant, has confirmed that it will upgrade its Kiryat Gat plant in Israel, potentially creating thousands of jobs.

Last year Finfacts reported that Israel was in discussions with Israel on a 10bn investment that would involve a new chip plant. Now the plan is to upgrade the existing plant with an investment of up to $6bn -- according to Israeli media.

Intel had said in January it would decide on the location of a planned new multi-billion dollar semiconductor plant using new 10 nanometer technology.

This week Intel said it planned to "upgrade the Kiryat Gat facility to meet future needs," but that "details of the project, including schedules, costs and technologies are not being disclosed at this time."

Reuters says Intel Israel's exports amounted to $3.8bn in 2013, down from $4.6bn the year before.

In its 40 years in Israel, Intel has invested $10.8bn in plants and development centres and received $1.5bn in grants. Intel Israel employs nearly 10,000 people.

Intel employs 2,800 in Ireland and contractors bring the total to 4,400.

The Jerusalem Post says that creating incentives for foreign investment has been the subject of some controversy in Israel, which like many countries offers companies tax incentives for large capital investments, especially in high-priority areas such as the periphery. As a result, many of the biggest companies operating in Israel pay a very low tax bill.

In 2010, for example, the government paid out NIS 5.6bn in tax credits for capital investments, 70% of which went to just four companies. Among them: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Check Point Software Technologies, Israel Chemicals and Intel.
Although the corporate tax rate was 25%, they paid an average of 3% tax.

Last March Intel announced that it had invested $5bn in recent years at its Irish campus at Leixlip, County Kildare.

Last month Bloomberg News reported that Citigroup cut Costa Rica’s growth forecast after Bank of America and Intel said they would fire 3,000 workers in the small Central American nation following the opposition's victory in a presidential runoff.

Intel is cutting 1,500 out of 2,500 jobs in the country as part of an effort to consolidate some operations in Asia, spokesman Chuck Mulloy said.

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