Micron's New York chips project under US environmental review

FILE PHOTO: A smartphone with a displayed Micron logo is placed on a computer motherboard in this illustration taken March 6, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is conducting an environmental review of Micron's plans for a manufacturing mega campus to make dynamic random-access memory chips in central New York state, the agency said on Friday.

Micron intends to invest up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to construct the 1,400-acre (570-hectare) campus in Clay, New York, with $20 billion planned by 2030.

The company has applied for funding under the Commerce Department's $39 billion "Chips and Science" semiconductor subsidy program, and an environmental review is required if the project receives government funding, the agency said.

Micron plans to starting building next year, with two of the four planned 600,000-square-foot (56,000-square-meter) fabrication units open by 2029, according to the filing.

The planned project includes constructing a childcare and health care center, a connection to the National Grid substation and a rail spur, according to the filing. Two more fabs would be operational by 2041, according to the filing.

The Commerce Department declined to comment. Micron said the government notice "is an important step towards preparations for construction – a process that includes extensive environmental reviews defined by federal law."

A March 19 meeting on the environmental review is planned.

The review will take at least a few months, beginning with a 30-day period for public input on the scope. A draft environmental impact statement will be available for public comment for 45 days before it can be finalized.

So far the Commerce Department has announced $1.7 billion in planned subsidies from the program, including $1.5 billion to GlobalFoundries to build a semiconductor production facility in Malta, New York and expand operations there and in Burlington, Vermont.

The department in January announced a $162 million planned award to Microchip Technology and $35 million to a BAE Systems facility in New Hampshire in December.

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Monday chip companies should expect significantly fewer subsidies than they sought, adding that the department is prioritizing projects that will be operational by 2030.

The department plans to invest $28 billion in leading-edge chip manufacturing, but those companies have requested more than $70 billion. Raimondo said the department is in tough negotiations with individual companies.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chris Reese, Josie Kao and William Mallard)

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