Oregon loses out on new semiconductor manufacturing campus

By Sage Van Wing (OPB)
Feb. 2, 2022 5:08 p.m.
An illustration of Intel's planned D1X expansion at its Ronler Acres manufacturing plant in Hillsboro, Oregon.

An illustration of Intel's planned D1X expansion at its Ronler Acres manufacturing plant in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Courtesy of Intel


Intel recently announced that it’s going to build what could become the largest campus of semiconductor factories in the world. But that campus will not be in Hillsboro. It will be in Ohio. Other tech companies are building new chip fabrication plants in Arizona and Texas.

One of the biggest barriers to the expansion of manufacturing in Oregon may be the state’s restrictive land-use laws. Intel’s new factory in Ohio has over 2,000 acres to build on. According to Duncan Wyse, head of the Oregon Business Council, a recent survey of available land in the Portland metro area found the largest available site was 200 acres.

“Our land use system faces challenges right now for manufacturing — not just in the Metro area, but all over the state,” said Wyse. “What we have found is that there is just simply not enough land available for the potential expansion in manufacturing that could happen in Oregon in this decade.”

Wyse has gathered together a taskforce, including Governor Brown and Senator Ron Wyden, to look into possible changes to land-use laws, as well as workforce development, and tax incentives.

“I think if we can line up our incentives with all those other policy issues,” said Wyse, “I think we can we can be competitive here in Oregon.”


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