29 March 2007 | Paul Snell
Intel, the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductors, is to build a new $2.5 billion (£1.2 billion) manufacturing plant in north-east China.
The factory, dubbed "Fab 68", will manufacture 300-millimetre wafers - chips on to which microcircuits are printed. The factory is Intel's first chip plant in Asia. It will accompany other "fabs" located in Ireland, Israel and the US and is the company's first newly-built factory since 1992.
It will be located in Dalian, in north-east China, and production should start by 2010. Intel hopes the new plant will produce the chips at a lower cost. The chips will primarily be used in Intel's own microprocessors.
Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel, said at a press conference: "China is our fastest growing major market and we believe it is critical to invest in markets that will provide for future growth." He added the investment now made Intel one of the largest foreign investors in China.
Xia Deren, the mayor of Dalian, welcomed the investment saying it would have an impact not only in Dalian, but also on the economy and industry of the rest of north-east China.