Intel looks to dismiss tenacious farmer’s appeal over $4bn Irish fab expansion

Intel has asked for a local farmer’s appeal to its planned $4bn fabrication plant expansion to be dismissed

Production and cleanroom facilities at work in Intel’s D1D/D1X

Intel has asked for a local farmer’s appeal to its planned $4bn fabrication plant expansion to be dismissed by the Republic of Ireland’s judicial body, An Bord Pleanála (ABP). Nearby farmer Thomas Reid is attempting to stop the semiconductor giant from expanding its Leixlip plant, which is currently in the planning stages, however, Intel’s local consultancy has dismissed his claims as “vexatious”.

It seems Intel doesn’t believe there’s much to Reid’s case other than to be a thorn in its side. After all, this isn’t the first time Reid has appealed Intel’s expansions… it’s the seventh time. In his appeal, Reid claimed the dual-proposal by the tech giant, worth $8bn and 6,000 construction jobs in total, was contrary to the proper planning.

And Reid has won at least one significant case in the past: his battle against the IDA regarding a Compulsory Purchase Order of his 72 acres of land. This would have allowed a larger corporation (read: Intel) to expand into this land in case of “future possible development” (via RTE). Intel, however, was never officially a part of the legal proceedings.

Reid would eventually win this case in the Supreme Court, which was dubbed as a battle against corporate power in Ireland, and the case was the subject of a recent documentary titled The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid by filmmaker Feargal Ward.

Intel Ireland hopes to invoke section 138 of the Planning and Development Act to dismiss Reid’s appeal, which can be used to dismiss claims that are without substance (via Irish Times).

The latest fab expansion in Ireland is a part of wider planned expansion in Oregon, Ireland, and Israel – Intel’s major manufacturing centres. All three will receive investment to increase expansion in some capacity. This comes off the back of Intel’s 14nm supply crunch, which newly-appointed CEO Bob Swan addressed last year with an open letter promising further capex spending.

So while Intel may require some future fab space – and relatively fast if recent shortages are in any way foreshadowing future events – it’s certainly got a fight on its hands from its determined and iron-willed next door neighbour.

Intel Ireland has offered the following statement, however, refused to comment further at this time.

“The planning process is a matter for An Bord Pleanála and it would be inappropriate for us to comment on it any further,” Intel Ireland says.

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