New York: We're still in the mix for 'Project Azalea' -- but it may not be who you think [The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.]
(Oregonian (Portland, OR) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 08--State officials in upstate New York say they are still in the running for the mysterious "Project Azalea," a multibillion-dollar chip factory that's also contemplating a site in Hillsboro.
"I've not heard anything that should take away any of our hopes," Ken Adams, head of Empire State Development Corp. --New York's economic development agency -- told The Business Review weekly newspaper in Albany for today's edition (subscription required.)
Word of the project emerged in New York last fall; shortly afterward, Oregon economic development officials confirmed that they're also pursuing Azalea.
Within the chip industry, it's widely believed that Azalea is a code name for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.
Officials in Southwest Washington have indicated that TSMC is contemplating a new factory (a fab, in the industry's parlance) at the Taiwanese company's WaferTech subsidiary in Camas. In Clark County, officials expect a decision this spring.
That would seem to make it a three-way race for Azalea and its 1,000 jobs -- with the caveat that Azalea might be quietly considering other sites in the U.S., or overseas.
But Adams told The Business Review not to make any assumptions about who is behind the project.
"There were some rumors about who it might be. There was hopefulness built into that," Adams said. "No one should walk around with the assumption as if that were the only possibility."
If Azalea is not TSMC -- and Adams' comments don't make that clear one way or the other -- that would seem to leave open the possibility that two massive chip factories are on the table: A TSMC fab in Camas, and another company's project in Oregon or New York.
Even the economic development officials involved in the recruitment don't seem to have a clear idea of all the variables in play. And TSMC isn't talking.
-- Mike Rogoway; Twitter: @rogoway; phone: 503-294-7699
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