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News | 2 min read

Chesterfield, Henrico, 2 other Va. localities vie for semiconductor chip sites

August 26, 2022

Hadis Morkoc, a professor of electrical engineering and physics, led a tour Thursday at VCU’s Virginia Microelectronics Center for a group that included Sen. Mark Warner.

Four local governments — including Chesterfield and Henrico counties — are pitching potential sites for large semiconductor chip factories to take advantage of a new federal law that dangles billions of dollars of incentives to return manufacturing of the critical microelectronic component to the United States.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., one of the principal authors of the CHIPS + Science Act that President Joe Biden signed into law on Aug. 9, convened a roundtable discussion in Richmond on Thursday to showcase sites that the state is marketing to attract big investments by manufacturers eager to take advantage of $40 billion in new federal subsidies for domestic production of semiconductor chips.

“I think Virginia is going to be very competitive,” Warner said in an interview after the meeting and a tour of the Virginia Microelectronics Center at Virginia Commonwealth University. “But we have to realize that certain states at this point are a bit ahead.”

“We’re going to have to put up incentive packages that are frankly much larger than we have in the past,” he said, citing competition from states such as Ohio, Texas, Arizona and New York.

The 90-minute meeting included big county delegations led by Chesterfield County Administrator Joe Casey and Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas as well as representatives for other potential semiconductor chip manufacturing sites in Pittsylvania County, outside of Danville, and Chesapeake in southeastern Virginia.

“We’re very much in the hunt for a large semiconductor facility,” said Garrett Hart, director of economic development in Chesterfield.

Chesterfield officials aren’t thinking small for a potential user of the 1,200-acre site in the Upper Magnolia Green megasite on the western side of the county, where an extension of the Powhite Parkway is planned. The site was a finalist for an investment by Intel Corp. that Hart said would have created a 400-acre manufacturing plant employing up to 20,000 people.

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