Preliminary work has crews already bustling on a new multibillion-dollar Intel Corp. fabrication plant in Hillsboro, Ore. While Intel has disclosed little about construction costs and project milestones, there can be no hiding a 1.3-million-sq-ft footprint for a facility set to manufacture next-generation 22-nanometer chips.

Details Emerge on Intel Plant Set for Construction in Oregon
Photo: Courtesy Intel

Bill MacKenzie, Intel spokesman, confirms that Hoffman Construction, Portland, Ore., will manage the three-building complex—to include a semiconductor fabrication plant, emergency generator structure and process utility building—in Intel’s existing industrial park. While the buildings will have independent utilities, there also will be “interconnecting trestles, tunnels and product-handling links,” says MacKenzie. A Hoffman spokesman declined comment, but the firm’s website is recruiting for construction positions.

Intel says it will invest between $6 billion and $8 billion on new technology manufacturing in U.S. plants in the next few years, including Hillsboro and two upgrades elsewhere in Oregon and two in Arizona. MacKenzie says the work could create 8,000 construction jobs. A city spokesperson says the project could apply for a building permit in January. Intel says it is set to start operating in 2013.

About 75% of Intel’s microprocessor production is in the U.S. “Contrary to conventional wisdom, we can retain a vibrant manufacturing economy here,” says Bzrian Krzanich, Intel senior vice president. Mike Salsgiver, executive director of Associated General Contractors’ Oregon-Columbia chapter, says unemployment rates in commercial construction in Oregon and southwest Washington hover near 40%.