An Oregon state board has approved $120 million in publicly issued bonds to help finance a $600 million water treatment project at Intel
In Oregon, a state board has approved $120 million in publicly issued bonds to help finance a $600 million water treatment project at Intel. According to Oregon Live, the state’s business development department plans to supplement that with $30 million from its own bonding authority.
According to state officials, Intel may request even more in the future. The company said they are trying to balance support for Oregon’s largest corporate employer against growing needs for bonding authority to help finance homebuilding to address the state’s housing crisis.
The tax-exempt bonds, known as industrial development bonds, cost the state little or nothing. It’s Intel, not the state, that is responsible for repaying them.
However, Oregon has limited private bonding authority. Officials with Business Oregon, the state’s economic development department, said they limited a request while they assess a potential request for bonds to finance housing construction.
According to Oregon Live, semiconductor production is a water-intensive process, as machines clean layers of material between each step in manufacturing. Intel uses nearly 3 billion gal of water each year at its manufacturing campus. According to Hillsboro officials, the project could reduce the company’s water use by a third.
Intel representatives told Oregon private bond committee members that in addition to conserving water, the project will enable additional manufacturing capacity in Oregon.
The company said it plans to expand its Oregon manufacturing site, beginning in 2019. According to OregonLive, Intel is talking with contractors and tradespeople about building a new, multibillion-dollar factory in Hillsboro.
“To continue innovating and manufacturing in Oregon, Intel is investing in adaptable waste management systems,” Intel said in a written statement Tuesday. “The support of Business Oregon and the Oregon Private Activity Bond Committee to finance this project will help further economic development, environmental sustainability, and support the state’s small businesses through Intel’s supply chain impacts.”
In addition to the $120 million for Intel, the Private Activity Bond Committee voted to allocate nearly $115 million for housing, including $37.5 million for a first-time homebuyer program.