Intel has selected the first contractors for its upcoming $20-billion semiconductor chip manufacturing plants project in central Ohio.

Gilbane Building Co. will manage early excavation work for the project, Intel announced May 26. Additionally, Ohio-based firms McDaniel’s Construction Corp., Northstar Contracting Inc. and GTSA Construction Consulting will provide staff augmentation and consulting services for the first phase of work. 

Construction is slated to start this year.

Intel plans to build two chip plants, known as fabs, at a 1,000-acre “mega-site” in New Albany, northeast of Columbus.

The project will support 7,000 construction jobs, Intel says. The tech company is aiming for 20% diverse business enterprise participation and 50% Ohio residency from firms contributing to the project, plus workforce diversity goals. Gilbane is running an outreach program to achieve those goals. McDaniel’s and Northstar are both certified minority-owned business enterprises, and Northstar is also veteran-owned. 

Intel says it will announce additional subcontractors in the coming weeks and months.

The plant project is also spurring related work. Local officials voted on May 17 to pursue design and construction of infrastructure improvements tied to the site. New Albany is receiving an $85-million grant from Ohio to help fund the work.

Chip production at the plant is expected to start in 2025.

Intel says the New Albany site is large enough to accommodate eight fabs plus related facilities. The company has teased the prospect of investing as much as $100 billion for a full site buildout.