Semiconductor firm talks part of Taiwan visit

Congressman William Owens is in Taiwan this week for a visit including talks with a major semiconductor maker about a possible investment in New York, but local prospects are unclear.

The talks with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., known as TSMC, have prompted speculation that the company may be considering building a fabrication plant in the state, according to a online report by

"We don’t have any details" yet, said Mohawk Valley EDGE President Steven DiMeo regarding the visit with TSMC by Owens, D-23, Plattsburgh. Owens will return Tuesday, said his spokesman Sean Magers.

EDGE, a local economic development agency, was aware of Owens’ meeting with TSMC and provided him with some background, said DiMeo. EDGE is involved with a proposed local site for a computer chip manufacturing plant that includes about 300 acres on the west side of Edic Road in Marcy near the SUNYIT campus. EDGE at various times has "met with nearly all of the leading semi-conductor companies across the globe," said DiMeo.

TSMC was one of five international companies whose involvement in a major computer-chip technology research initiative statewide was announced in September by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The research initiative that includes an estimated $4.4 billion investment is projected to create about 450 high-technology positions at SUNYIT, among projections at several locations across the state. The initiative is envisioned as potentially helping to spur further development such as the proposed computer chip manufacturing plant in Marcy.

Part of the state’s initiative is geared to "leverage" research-and-development investments "to attract advanced manufacturing jobs" such as for making semi-conductors, DiMeo explained. Global Foundries, another of the five international companies in the statewide initiative, is building a semi-conductor plant in Saratoga County.

Rep. Richard Hanna, R-24, Barneveld, has been in contact with Owens regarding the overseas visit. He said in a statement, "I am pleased that the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recognized the concerted effort of New York State to make a world class site available for the fabrication of next generation computer chips right here." He added, "I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis with my upstate colleagues, as well as the president and Governor Cuomo, to bring economic development and the jobs it represents to the people of Oneida County and our entire region."