The projected increase in manufacturing sector output value through 2032

- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Construction of semiconductor manufacturer Wolfspeed’s $5-billion John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbine in Siler City, N.C., is continuing on schedule for production to begin in the first half of 2025, company leaders told investors Oct. 30 during their latest financial results call.

The project, led by general contractor Whiting-Turner, is being built in two phases. The full plant would cover 1.2 million sq ft of the 445-acre site. Wolfspeed says it is seeking LEED certification for building efficiency.

Wolfspeed CEO Gregg Lowe said that, once complete, the plant would increase the company's semiconductor wafer production capacity by 10 times. Wolfspeed plans to produce 200-mm wafers for computer chips at the highly automated plant.

The project is one of an increasing number of semiconductor projects currently being planned, designed or constructed in the U.S., spurred in part by government efforts to restore the semiconductor production sector in the U.S., which has fallen behind other countries. Wolfspeed is seeking funding from the CHIPS and Science Act to support the project, executives said.

Wolfspeed appears confident the project will remain on schedule. Chief financial officer Neill Reynolds told investors that the company has begun hiring and training employees who will work at the plant.


Starplus Energy

Manufacturing employment decline in October partially due to strikes

- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

EV Battery Gigafactory

Stellantis and Samsung SDI recently announced that their joint venture, StarPlus Energy, will build a second, $3.2-billion lithium-ion battery plant at the same site in Kokomo, Ind., where they have a $2.5-billion plant currently under construction by contractors W.G. Yates and Commercial Contracting Corp. The plants are planned to produce battery cells for electric vehicles made by Stellantis' brands, such as Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep. The plants would have a combined capacity of 67 GWh and would together account for the largest production base for electric vehicle batteries in North America, according to Samsung SDI. The first plant is scheduled to open in 2025 and StarPlus expects the second would open in 2027. Stellantis has planned to reach a 50% passenger car and light-duty truck battery EV sales mix in the U.S. by 2030.



Manufacturing Expansion

British construction and agriculture equipment maker JCB is planning to build a 720,000-sq-ft plant on a 400-acre site in San Antonio, Texas. The plant would supplement the company's plant in Savannah, Ga., in supplying its North American customers. JCB has not yet said which products it plans to manufacture at the new plant.


Siemens Mobility

Decline in manufacturing construction starts year-to-date through September

- Dodge Construction Network


Rail Car Plant

Railroad rolling stock manufacturer Siemens Mobility says it plans to build a $220-million advanced manufacturing and rail services facility in Lexington, N.C. The facility would produce passenger coaches and overhaul both locomotives and coaches, and include room for future expansions on the 200-acre site. It would incorporate robotic welding, 3D printing and virtual reality welder training technologies. The company says it has invested $3 billion in manufacturing expansions and M&A activities in the U.S. over the past four years. The new plant would help Siemens meet growing demand for passenger rail in the U.S., the company says. Siemens Mobility has eight other U.S. manufacturing sites. It expects to begin production at the Lexington plant in 2024.