Irish government hands Intel millions to offset energy price hikes

Euro facility reportedly qualified under Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme

Intel was awarded €30 million ($32.2 million) by Ireland last year as part of a state aid package for companies affected by energy price increases.

The Santa Clara chipmaker is pumping billions into new semiconductor manufacturing facilities around the world, but it seems the company isn't averse to picking up a bit of change where it can.

According to The Irish Times, the funding was given to Intel via a scheme introduced by the Irish government last year and approved by the European Commission.

Ireland was cleared to implement a €1.22 billion ($1.3 billion) scheme to support companies impacted by economic uncertainty following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A €100 million ($107 million) State Aid scheme to support the microelectronics manufacturing sector was also approved, and this is where the €30 million Intel funding came from.

Companies were eligible to apply for funds by via bodies such as Enterprise Ireland and the country's Industrial Development Agency (IDA), the latter being the agency responsible for attracting inward foreign direct investment into the country. The agency told us: "IDA Ireland does not comment on individual client companies."

Intel has had a presence in Ireland for over 30 years and claims to have invested more than €30 billion ($32.2 billion) during that time.

Last year, the chip giant started up mass production using its Intel 4 process node at its manufacturing facility at Leixlip, and claimed it had spent €17 billion ($18.5 billion) on doubling the available manufacturing space at the site over the past several years.

According to the Irish government, there are over 20,000 people currently employed in the semiconductor industry as a whole, which they say accounts for exports worth €13.5 billion ($14.5 billion) from the country annually.

Intel has been going through a tough time recently, due to falling demand in key markets such as datacenter products and a decline in PC shipments until recently, and reported an overall $437 million loss for the first quarter of this year, so perhaps it feels it needs all the money it can get.

The company was even reported at the end of 2022 to be offering staff at its Leixlip facility three months' voluntary unpaid leave in a bid to reduce its costs.

Intel is also investing heavily in new semiconductor fabrication plants and in setting itself up as a foundry business for other chip companies.

We asked Intel for comment, and await a response.

An Intel Ireland spokesperson told The Irish Times that: "We welcomed the opportunity to apply for the Microelectronics Manufacturers Ukraine Enterprise Crisis Scheme," adding that "As a major manufacturer that has invested and operated in Ireland for almost 35 years we have just completed construction of our newest facility Fab 34, at a cost of €17 billion."

Intel starts mass production on Intel 4 node using EUV in Irish fab


In its recently published annual report, Intel also said it recognized $645 million in grants and refundable tax credits from non-US governments in 2023, a majority of which it said related to the expansion of silicon wafer manufacturing facilities in Ireland. ®

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