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Intel says finish for first phase of Ohio megaproject will be later than 2025

 A fence surrounds the site of an Intel plant under construction northeast of Columbus.
Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
A fence surrounds the site of an Intel plant under construction northeast of Columbus.

When Intel broke ground in Licking County in fall 2022, the chipmaker said it could be online by 2025. But a year and a half later, a spokesperson for Intel said in an email it won’t meet that “aggressive” project completion date.

The state has already disbursed $600 million in onshoring grants to the tech giant for its central Ohio venture. Intel is in the process of constructing sizeable computer chip fabrication plants in Licking County, which will amount to a pledged $20 billion investment when it’s done.

Dan Tierney, a spokesperson for Gov. Mike DeWine, said Thursday delays in projects this size and scale are not abnormal. Ohio would only claw back incentives, Tierney said, if Intel pulled the plug all together.

The Ohio Department of Development awarded Intel those onshoring grants, and has set 2028 as the deadline for when it needs to meet its job and investment commitments to the state, according to an agency spokesperson.

The chipmaker has been counting on another stream of funding, however, to see the project through: potential money from the CHIPS and Science Act. In November, Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), J.D. Vance (R-OH) and others sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce, asking that it review Intel’s application “without undue delay.”

“I'm not sounding an alarm that there are going to be delays,” Brown said in a November interview. “I'm just anticipating that we need to make sure this is a smooth, as rapid as possible, bunch of steps to get this plant up and running.”

The Intel spokesperson wrote in an email that it is “fully committed to the project” and “continuing to make progress.”

“We broke ground on Ohio One ahead of schedule and we are maintaining construction progress,” she wrote.

She declined to pinpoint a project completion date but said construction could continue through 2027—which would be five years after the groundbreaking—based on prior project timelines.
Copyright 2024 The Statehouse News Bureau.