Intel has been given the thumbs up to radically expand its Kildare headquarters in a move which could see the creation of thousands of Irish jobs.
The Irish national planning authority, An Bord Pleanala, gave the green light today for a massive 40-hectare expansion at the plant in Leixlip. Kildare County Council had approved the plans last August but they were appealed to the national planning authority.
According to the Independent, Intel is supposed to be working on its next generation of computer chips in Leixlip, however, the Irish press has noted that there is a marked reluctance from Chipzilla to press ahead. Intel has yet to decide when or if it will go ahead because the Kildare site is competing with other Intel locations including Arizona and Israel for the work.
That has not stopped the Irish government, which has been bending over backwards to attract Intel with all sorts of tax breaks and other sweeteners, declaring a victory. Government chief whip Emmet Stagg claims that at least 4,300 jobs could be created.
Most of these are 3,500 construction jobs will be created as part of the expansion, but there will be 800 permanent manufacturing jobs when it's completed. Over 4,500 workers are already based at the plant.
Stagg said that the expansion is "proof" that companies like Intel have confidence in Ireland.
While it is nice that someone is optimistic about Intel's plans, Intel does not appear to be in any hurry. It has ten years to exercise its planning permission permit. If it does go ahead then it will involve the construction of manufacturing buildings with total floor area of 162,536 square metres, as well as a multi-storey car park accommodating 2,200 cars. A chemical store and other supporting work buildings are also part of the proposals.
Intel will pay Kildare County Council more than €27 million to improve the road connections to the site.