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Connecticut company promises 1,000 new jobs with $200 million expansion

WILTON — Over the past three years, the world’s largest semiconductor equipment maker has invested more than $100 million to expand its Connecticut plant. But demand for the microchips that power much of the world’s technology is so great that the company is now making another nine-figure investment in the complex.

ASML on Monday underlined its commitment to further develop its campus at 77 Danbury Road, its largest research and development and manufacturing site outside of its headquarters in the Netherlands, by hosting a groundbreaking ceremony with some of the top elected officials. of Connecticut to mark the property’s new $200 million expansion. Already the base of around 2,500 employees, the burgeoning hub is expected to add around 1,000 jobs over the next two years.

“We are extremely excited about this investment here at the Wilton site,” said Joost Ploegmakers, Vice President of Engineering at ASML, at the event. “Within ASML, we are the only site that provides modules and parts for every ASML system produced.”

There is more demand than ever for ASML’s photolithography machines, which its customers use to mass-produce microchips – an essential component of hardware that ranges from smartphones to cars to MRI scanners to industrial robots and data centers. In the second quarter of this year, ASML reported net sales of around €5.4 billion, or around $5.5 billion, a 35% jump year-over-year.

“In recent years, the semiconductor industry has experienced significant growth as microchips become more and more part of our daily lives,” said Louis Lu, site manager at Wilton. “As a result, ASML has grown at its headquarters (in Veldhoven) in the Netherlands and also here in the United States, including the Wilton site.”

As part of the expansion, ASML plans to increase the number of manufacturing-focused jobs in Wilton from 1,000 to 1,450 and the local design and engineering workforce by 1,100 over the next two years. to 1,600. The company also plans to create more than 50 supply chain jobs.

Today, ASML has over 300 open positions in Connecticut, with the most opportunities being in design and engineering.

The $200 million allocation will go towards development and construction which will add approximately 37,000 square feet to the approximately 350,000 square foot facility. Upgrades will include more space for basic operations, such as manufacturing in the “clean room” area; the development of an education-focused “experience center” that will be open to students and other members of the public; additional office space; a cafeteria expansion; and pavement works to improve traffic flow. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

“As the semiconductor industry grows, we need to make sure we can produce all of these critical modules,” Ploegmakers said. “That’s why we are developing both our optical manufacturing – one of our core competencies here on site – as well as our cleanroom assembly. “We need to expand this to keep up with the growing number of systems we produce.”

Local, state and federal support

Connecticut has supported ASML’s growth through a contract the company entered into in 2018 under the First Five Plus program, which was launched during the administration of former Governor Dannel P. Malloy. To date, ASML has earned $11 million in grants and $6 million in tax credits. He is eligible to earn the remaining $3 million in grants by maintaining an initial amount of 1,222 jobs and creating another 524 positions.

“The past three years, with the expansion ($100 million) that has been completed…we wouldn’t be able to do this without their partnership,” Lu said. “We are very grateful for the government’s support .”

In addition to First Five Plus funding, state investments in areas such as transportation infrastructure are also helping companies such as ASML grow in Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont said.

“I think that’s our role as state government: to be your partner and make sure you have the infrastructure needs, so that ASML can continue to double Moore’s Law (a golden rule in the electronics industry), to be the masterminds behind Moore’s Law — and to do it right here in Wilton, in the great state of Connecticut,” said Lamont, a Democrat who is running for a second term this year.

Federal officials have also allocated significant funds to the electronics industry. Earlier this summer, Congress passed the CHIPS and Science Act, which provides $52 billion for semiconductor manufacturing and research.

“We want to bring this industry back from other places, especially from China. To be very blunt, we want to eat China’s lunch when it comes to semiconductors,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat who is seeking a third term. “The CHIPS and Science Act is going to provide $52 billion to support exactly those kinds of efforts.”

Rep. Jim Himes, whose district includes most of Fairfield County, including Wilton, said ASML’s expansion demonstrates the strengths of the state’s workforce.

“We realize there are places in the country where you can do business more cheaply,” said Himes, a Democrat, who is seeking an eighth term. “You may pay lower wages elsewhere, you may pay less for electricity elsewhere, but ASML understands that you cannot find better, more loyal and more innovative employees.”

Local officials are also strong supporters of the company. Wilton First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice cited the recent approval of several multi-family housing projects as evidence of the city’s commitment to accommodating ASML’s growing workforce.

“Just diagonally across the street is a nice commercial building which is being converted into 18 units. Up the street, we just approved 174 apartments, and just beyond that, 35,” said Vanderslice, a second-term Republican whose current term runs through November 2023. “In all of our thinking about this regard, we think of the employees of the ASML.

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