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Micron gets combined $13.6 billion grant, loan for chip plants

Company’s promised investment of $125 billion over the next two decades includes child care for workers

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer says Micron’s New York plant will revive manufacturing in an area that has faced an economic downturn.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer says Micron’s New York plant will revive manufacturing in an area that has faced an economic downturn. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Biden administration chose Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology for a $6.1 billion federal grant and $7.5 billion loan to build factories where memory chips would be manufactured, the latest award meant to drive domestic production of vital technology.

Micron will build one factory in Clay, N.Y., and another in Boise using the funds from a program overseen by the Commerce Department, promising to invest as much as $125 billion over the next two decades at both facilities, the department said in a statement made public Thursday. 

The grant and loan will “supercharge Micron to bring back leading-edge memory chip manufacturing back to the United States for the first time in 20 years,” Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters Wednesday in a news conference ahead of the official announcement.

The New York factory, located near Syracuse, will revive manufacturing in an area that has faced an economic downturn after refrigeration company Carrier Corp. shuttered operations in 2003, Schumer said. “It’s writing a new chapter for places like Syracuse and upstate New York,” he said. 

Schumer and President Joe Biden travel to Syracuse on Thursday to announce the awards. 

The grant comes from a $39 billion fund that Congress appropriated in 2022 and is overseen by the Commerce Department. The CHIPS and Science Act is intended to break the dependence on suppliers primarily based in Taiwan and South Korea for necessary components for missiles, spy satellites, telecom gear and medical devices. The loan is from $75 billion in authority that Congress provided to the Commerce Department in the same law. 

The award to Micron is the first one for a company making memory chips, which store data. The Commerce Department’s earlier awards — $8.5 billion for Intel Corp., $6.6 billion for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and $6.4 billion for South Korea’s Samsung — are for logic chips that do the heavy-duty computations involved in artificial intelligence systems, processing and predictive data.

The grant to Micron and the company’s long-term investment plans will “ensure that the United States has a robust leading-edge DRAM chip ecosystem,” Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves said on a call with reporters. Micron plans to “onshore 40 percent of their leading-edge DRAM chip production over the next two decades,” he said.

DRAM refers to dynamic, random-access memory chips that Micron currently makes in Japan and Taiwan. 

The New York factory is expected to create as many as 20,000 jobs in manufacturing and construction combined, while the Idaho site would add 6,500 combined jobs, the department said in a statement.

As part of the agreement that provides the funding, the company will invest about $250 million in community and workforce development in upstate New York. It also plans to open a 124-seat child care center in Boise and a similar facility in New York, the department said. 

Chip manufacturers that provide child care facilities received additional points in their applications for federal grants, as Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo has said availability of child care facilities is essential to draw women into the workforce.  

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