The $3.2 billion chip fab would receive $1.2 billion in state incentives under the agreement state officials and AMD announced in June and finalized in December. AMD, which has its headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., but has chip fabs and offices in Austin, Texas; Dresden, Germany; and Malaysia, would receive $650 million in state grant money and $550 million in infrastructure and other incentives if it starts construction before July 2009. In fact, Caudell was unabashed in saying that state incentives were one of the top three reasons the chip fab giant was interested in Luther Forest.
"This is a very expensive business and certainly the benefits we were able to receive from the state were a factor in our decision," he said.
In return for the aid, the company would guarantee creation of at least 1,200 jobs. Caudell said many of those jobs would require advanced degrees, and a large number of them, mostly the lab technician positions, would require at least the completion of a two-year program or course specifically designed for the field.
Ward Tisdale, AMD manager of community affairs, added that there would be clerical, human resources, and support jobs available as well, but those would be in small supply compared to the laboratory positions.
Caudell also listed New York's existing infrastructure as a reason for locating the chip fab in Saratoga County, and commended the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors for the work they have done to put into action the construction of roads and other infrastructure the plant will need.
Work is supposed to start this year, but it remains unclear whether Saratoga County supervisors will fund plans to bring water to the site from the upper Hudson River. The plant will use more than 1 million gallons per day.
"Ultimately, water is the responsibility of the county, and we're confident they will meet that responsibility," Bullard said. He said AMD, which would be the system's largest user, wouldn't sign a water purchase contract until it makes the final decision on whether it is building the plant. The county water project has verbal agreements from some municipalities, but as yet has no signed contracts.