Intel submits plan to upgrade Israeli chip plant

JERUSALEM, April 30 Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:54pm EDT

JERUSALEM, April 30 (Reuters) - U.S. chip manufacturer Intel Corp said on Wednesday it had submitted a business plan to upgrade a facility in southern Israel.

An Intel statement did not specify any sum but Israeli media reported the company would invest $6 billion in the Kiryat Gat company, potentially creating thousands of jobs.

A spokesman reached by Reuters declined to comment on the figure.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Intel's plan had been under discussion for several years and welcomed the decision. Praising Israel as a centre of world technology, Netanyahu urged other global companies to expand investment in the country as well.

Intel had said in January it would decide on the location of a planned new multi-billion dollar semiconductor plant using new 10 nanometre technology.

It said on Wednesday it planned to "upgrade the Kiryat Gat facility to meet future needs," but that "details of the project, including schedules, costs and technologies are not being disclosed at this time."

Intel Israel's exports amounted to $3.8 billion in 2013, down from $4.6 billion the year before.

In its 40 years in Israel, Intel has invested $10.8 billion in plants and development centres and received $1.5 billion in grants. Intel Israel employs nearly 10,000 people.

It received grants totalling 28 percent of its investment when it built the Kiryat Gat plant, called Fab 28, which started operating in Israel in 1999. (Additional reporting by Steven Scheer; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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