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Brewer touts new $5B Intel plant

Chip maker says investment timing a coincidence


Intel Corp.'s decision to invest $5 billion to build chip-manufacturing plant in Chandler is sign that making Arizona more enticing for businesses will pay off, Gov. Jan Brewer said Friday.

While Brewer didn't say the broad package of business tax cuts and other measures she signed into law this week was the reason for Intel's decision, she did say the company liked the direction Arizona's policies are taking.

"Intel Corp. has paid attention to what we are doing," she said. "Clearly Intel understands Arizona is doing what the future demands."

In addition to tax cuts estimated reach more than $500 million annually, most taking effect in 2014, the Arizona Competitiveness Package replaces the Arizona Department of Commerce with an Arizona Commerce Authority in which state officials and business leaders work together. She and other GOP leaders said the law would create jobs.

The new plant is part of an announcement made by Intel in October last year, committing $6 billion to $8 billion in investments distributed between Oregon and Arizona. Construction on the Chandler facility is expected to begin in the middle of this year and be completed by 2013.

"The timing is actually a coincidence," said Jason Bagley, Intel's southwest region government affairs manager. "The decision to invest in Arizona that we announced today was not driven by the Arizona jobs package."

However, Bagley said that Intel has worked with Arizona lawmakers on the legislation to create a "positive environment for corporate investment."

The plant is expected to create thousands of construction and permanent jobs, but Intel didn't have an estimate on how many would be created or how many would be permanent.

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While Intel hasn't announced any other plans to grow its presence in Arizona, Josh Walden, vice president and general manager of world wide manufacturing, said that new incentives make Arizona more attractive.

"Clearly that package does make Arizona more competitive, and we take that into account when we look to invest," he said. "I would say that there is a pretty good chance that we will continue to invest in Arizona given business conditions continue to be positive."

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Alyson Zepeda/Cronkite News Service

As Don Cardon, president and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority, looks on, Gov. Jan Brewer touts the state’s efforts to promote business as part of the reason why Intel Corp. decided to invest $5 billion in a chip-manufacturing plant in Chandler.