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EAST FISHKILL, NY-In what New York Governor George Pataki termed the largest private sector investment in New York State history, IBM will build a $2.5 billion semiconductor chip fabrication plant at Building #323 at the Hudson Valley Research Park in East Fishkill.

The project will create 1,000 permanent new jobs at the site once it reaches full production in early 2003. The new plant, which is part of IBM’s $5 billion capital investment plan to support its semiconductor business, is scheduled to begin operations during the second half of 2002, IBM officials estimate. The building totals approximately 635,000 sf of which a little more than 200,000 sf is useable.

IBM Chairman and CEO Lou Gerstner comments, “The world of e-business is driving a massive build-out of the infrastructure of computing and communications. That, in turn, drives demand for critical technical components like chips. Demand is white hot in three critical segments–chips for big servers, chips to power the explosion in Internet access devices and chips in the networking equipment that ties everything together. That’s why today’s announcement is important–important for our industry, our customers and our employees.”

In 1997, IBM and Governor Pataki announced plans by Big Blue to build a $700-million pilot chip fabrication plant for 300-millimeter (12 incn) wafers at Building #323. However, in 1998 the semiconductor business experienced a downturn and the plant was put on hold, recalls Dutchess County Economic Development Corp. President Kathleen Sullivan Norat. Today’s announcement marks the expansion of the pilot 300-millimeter wafer project to full build-out. In addition, IBM also plans to mass produce semiconductors at line-widths more than 1,000 times thinner than a human hair at the plant.

Sullivan notes that the Hudson Valley Research Park site was one of 13 locations statewide selected for New York State’s Semiconductor Manufacturing Initiative that helps facilitate pre-permitted sites for potential semiconductor firms to consider. New York State completed its environmental review process at Building #323 two years ago.

“This is the bonanza that every community in New York State has been trying to position themselves for,” Sullivan says. “This is great news for Dutchess County and the Hudson Valley.”

The IBM plant will be the second semiconductor manufacturing facility at the Hudson Valley Research Center. Earlier this year, the new owner of IBM’s MICRUS Semiconductor operations at Building #320, Philips Semiconductors, announced that it planned to invest another $100 million to increase capacity at its plant.

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