Germany puts the package. Intel boss Pat Gelsinger and Chancellor Olaf Scholz are meeting in Berlin on Monday, a government spokesman confirmed. They could reach an agreement for a subsidy of 9.9 billion euros, had revealed the German daily “Handelsblatt”. To secure the upcoming installation of a semiconductor factory in Magdeburg, German taxpayers would therefore put 3 billion more on the table than the 6.8 billion in aid initially planned.
The Ministry of the Economy also confirms that “intensive discussions are underway on this subject”. At the beginning of the week, the Minister of the Economy, the Green Robert Habeck, ured that “yes, we want this installation to take place”. “If we say no, we will have to bear the consequences” in terms of sovereignty, he explained during a forum on investment in East Germany.
Conflict in government
A long standoff pitted him against Finance Minister Christian Lindner, who said a week ago in the “Financial Times” that there was “no more money” in the federal budget for Intel. The services of Robert Habeck would however have found resources in the special funds of the ministry and would propose to Intel reductions on the costs of energy and water.
Intel had argued rising energy costs and inflation to up the ante. From the announcement of his move to Magdeburg in East Germany in March 2021, the amount of investment needed would have increased from 17 to 27 billion.
Intel should eventually employ 10,000 people in Magdeburg to produce new generation chips with a structure of less than five nanometers. Using latest generation machines from Dutch ASML which allow precision etchings on silicon production could start in 2027 or 2028 instead of 2024 as originally announced.
THE German car manufacturers had on several occasions expressed their doubts about the nature of the “chips” produced which meet the needs of American and Asian manufacturers of smartphones and computers more than their own. European independence on “chips” also concerns other European producers, notably for machine tools or optics, underlined Minister Robert Habeck at the start of the week.