Intel's management in Ireland has been pushing for investment for a number of years. There were clearly concerns that, without it, the Leixlip facility could be entering an end-of-life winding-down phase.
It is not yet clear how much support Intel will receive from the IDA Ireland, the country's inward investment promotion agency.
Barry O'Leary, CEO of IDA Ireland, said: "The fact that a global leader such as Intel, which has already invested close to $7 billion in Ireland, has chosen to invest a further $500 million here is an enormous vote of confidence and endorsement of Ireland as a competitive location for global investment. Intel is a bellwether company and this is a significant strategic investment for Ireland. Given that the initial impact over the next two years will result in over 1,000 jobs between construction, contract and full time employment it is immensely positive news."
"High-end manufacturing will continue as a key strategic feature of Ireland’s economy, and capital investment of this scale with the associated investment in training and up-skilling is what will truly transform the Irish economy," he added.
The 200 extra jobs help safeguard the hundreds of jobs at the other three fabs at Leixlip. I think Intel's decision was whether to pull out of Ireland (gradually) or to invest for one more spin of the technology carousel.
If Intel had opted to spend the money in, say, China then the atmosphere in Leixlip would have inevitably have become downbeat as the fab complex would have been gradually running down...even if it took a decade to finally close.
As it is Intel has been getting very close to the European Union over the last couple of years and that together with the good fundamental R&D that Intel has been getting (such as the junctionless transistor) out of Ireland probably helped persuade the company to spend again in Ireland.
That and the excellence of the fabs it already has up and running there which I think won some sort of internal Intel competition in 2010.
200 permanent jobs isn't that much. However, it is hoped that Intel will generate significant amount of output at the fab and help boost the Irish economy. But then, corporate taxes are quite low in Ireland anyway - hopefully the Irish Government will get some revenue