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Zoning application filed as GloFo eyes future expansion

Friday, February 1, 2013
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— As expected, GlobalFoundries has applied to the towns of Malta and Stillwater for zoning approval to build a second computer chip fabrication plant at Fab 8.

The new Fab 8.2 could have more manufacturing space than the first plant, and cost as much as $10 billion.

The company, in application and environmental review documents filed with the towns on Friday, estimates that up to 1,800 new permanent jobs could be created at Fab 8.2 — along with a maximum of 2,500 construction jobs.

But company officials said again that the filing of the application doesn’t necessarily mean the second plant will be built, though it is an indication of how well things are going for the expanding chip foundry.

“Any decisions on additional facilities will be driven by a variety of complex factors, including local site plan approvals, the availability of regional infrastructure, market demand and global business conditions,” GlobalFoundries spokesman Travis Bullard.

GlobalFoundries wants to see the zoning decision made within 90 days, and to be in a position to get a building permit within six months.

“While we are only in the initial design and planning phase for this project, our global business continues to grow and we are excited about the possibility of expanding our investment and capabilities in New York,” Bullard said.

The company’s 223-acre site in the Luther Forest Technology Campus is on the Malta-Stillwater town line. A new factory would be primarily in Malta, but a portion of the building would be located across the town line in Stillwater.

The Malta Town Board, which will lead the environmental and zoning review, has scheduled a special meeting and workshop for Feb. 12 to begin discussion of the application.

The first plant at Fab 8, which has only gone into production in the last few months, will have cost $6.9 billion when finished, and currently has about 2,000 employees.

The company already has plans to break ground this spring on a new Technology Development Center that could mean as many as 1,000 more jobs.

If Fab 8.2 goes forward — with construction and start-up expected to take about three years — the total permanent workforce on site could rise to about 4,800, based on information submitted to the towns.

Among changes the company is seeking in its current planned development district legislation are permission to increase the maximum size of the plant’s manufacturing cleanroom from 300,000 square feet to 475,000 square feet. Fab 8.1 has a 210,000-square-foot cleanroom that’s being expanded to 300,000 square feet.

A new traffic study has found a need for several off-site traffic improvements, but the Northway Exit 11A once contemplated as part of the Luther Forest Technology Campus’ development “was found not to be warranted for Fab 8.2.”

Generally, the environmental reports submitted to the town find that the water, sewer and electrical infrastructure already in place are adequate to support the factory.

 
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