Intel and Italy are close to a $5 billion deal to build a chip factory in the southern European country, according to Reuters. The factory will be involved in advanced semiconductor packaging and the assembly of chips. The details were leaked to the press by two sources that had been briefed on what was happening.
The Italian government and Intel have both refused to be drawn into commenting on the situation. It was suggested by the sources, however, that the outgoing Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, wants to have an agreement in place by the end of August ready for the next general election due to take place on September 25.
This deal represents just a small part of the $88 billion that Intel plans to invest in European chip capacity. The continent is eager to develop chip producing capacity of its own because the recent supply chain issues have exposed its over-reliance on Asian countries. This is not to say Europe won’t import from Asia in the future, but having its own capacity will make supplies more robust.
According to the sources, Piedmont, Veneto, Lombardy, Apulia, and Sicily had originally been considered as locations for the factory. This list has been whittled down to Piedmont and Veneto, but a final decision still needs to be made.
It’s possible that Italy could fund almost half the cost of the factory, should it go ahead. The country had set aside €4.15 billion until 2030 for investments in projects such as these. If Intel does make an announcement, it will become more clear how many jobs the factory should provide when built.