Saratoga County

GlobalFoundries plant gets final OK

GlobalFoundries on Tuesday received the final town approval for one of the biggest projects upstate

GlobalFoundries on Tuesday received the final town approval for one of the biggest projects upstate New York has recently seen — construction of a $4.2 billion computer chip fabrication factory at the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

The town Planning Board unanimously granted final site plan approval to the design details of the 1.3 million-square-foot building, which GlobalFoundries officials say will be “the world’s most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility.”

The approval ends months of town review of the plans.

“This is great. We’re closing this preliminary planning chapter just as construction is ready to start,” said Steve Groseclose, head of GlobalFoundries’ regulatory team.

Land clearing began last month at the 223-acre site on the Malta-Stillwater border. A groundbreaking for the building itself is tentatively slated for July 24.

“We’ve cleared roughly about 50 acres. It is going along fairly well,” said Art Kaplan, community liaison for M+W Zander, the construction management company.

Construction is expected to take two years, including installation of the complex chip-manufacturing equipment that will go inside the plant. Full production at the plant GlobalFoundries has designated Fab 2 isn’t expected until 2012.

More than 1,000 people will be employed during construction, and there will be about 1,400 permanent factory jobs.

GlobalFoundries is the new company formed in March to take over the chip manufacturing operations previously owned by Advanced Micro Devices, including the plans for Luther Forest that were first announced in 2006.

GlobalFoundries, a partnership between AMD and Abu Dhabi investors, plans to make computer chips for AMD and also by contract for other customers.

Long-range plans call for up to three computer chip factories to be built by GlobalFoundries at the Luther Forest site.

GlobalFoundries will be the first and anchor tenant for the 1,414-acre Luther Forest Technology Campus, where road, water and sewer infrastructure is currently being built.

The campus has about 400 more acres that could be developed, and those sites are being actively marketed to other companies.

Also Tuesday, GlobalFoundries announced the appointment of Ron Dickinson as vice president for enterprise quality, completing the GlobalFoundries senior management team.

Dickinson will initially be based at the GlobalFoundries Fab 1 plant in Dresden, Germany, but is expected to move to New York within the next few months and oversee the assembly of the support organization for Fab 2.

Dickinson has spent nearly 30 years in semiconductor manufacturing. Most recently, he served as director of operations and general manager for Freescale Semiconductor’s fab plant in East Kilbride, Scotland. There, he was responsible for implementing major performance improvements, including reducing operating costs and increasing direct labor productivity.

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