Intel is insisting it has yet to make a decision over which European country will secure its $80bn (€70bn) foreign direct investment semiconductor project, potentially involving up to 10,000 jobs — but it would be something of a shock if Ireland were to secure the project at this stage.
Intel in Ireland said no decision has been taken and chief executive Pat Gelsinger speaking in the US said he hoped to announce the major manufacturing site in Europe in the coming months.
Mr Geisiger was meeting with US president Joe Biden to hail an enormous $100bn investment by Intel in Ohio, after last year announcing plans to invest in an existing plant in Arizona.
The chips that Intel makes are used in everything from mobile phones to cars and the US chipmaker is attempting to make up for the global shortages and to fight off competition to its once dominant global position.
Part of that strategy involves its plan to invest in a new project in Europe. Germany is reportedly in top position to secure the project.
Despite Ireland hosting Intel's only European plant for 30 years, it was always on the back foot to reel in the new project because its Leixlip, Co Kildare site is already full. EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager warned last year about chipmakers playing governments off “against each other” for subsidies.