In the first half of 2023, the excavators in the Eulenberg industrial area in Magdeburg are scheduled to start rolling for the construction of Intel’s new semiconductor plants. From 2027 onwards, the first chips could then be produced in the “Mega-Fab” on an area of 450 hectares, which is the size of a little more than 620 soccer fields. One of the challenges is likely to be the energy supply.
The Intel system could at least double the city’s energy consumption by the start, two local politicians explained to the online magazine “Politico”. The portal quotes the former mayor, Lutz Trümper (SPD), as saying that the power consumption of the two plants will be greater than Magdeburg’s total consumption at the moment. The transmission system operator 50Hertz described this estimate as credible.
Tens of thousands of new jobs
Magdeburg had a total of 238,697 inhabitants in 2019. In 2021, the municipal utilities there sold 1,500 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, 1,400 GWh of gas and 500 GWh of district heating. Trümper helped negotiate the contract that brought Intel to Magdeburg in March 2022. Three months later, the 66-year-old left office.
The factory is intended to create 3000 permanent high-tech jobs in Magdeburg, Intel explains in a fact sheet. 7,000 construction workers are to be employed in the construction of the works. The construction project is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs with suppliers and partners. According to reports, the number of employees in the factory itself could also increase to as many as 20,000. The initial investment is given as 17 billion euros.
Maybe even three times the power requirement
The actual power requirement of the fully functional plant could therefore even reach “three times the energy requirement of Magdeburg”, said Madeleine Linke, leader of the Greens in the city, to “Politico”. She and other city council members were informed by the former mayor at a board meeting. In any case, a new substation would have to be built.
Intel has committed to using only green electricity for its factories. According to the report, however, this does not appear likely until 2030. Until then, Germany must significantly expand sources of renewable energies. The chipmaker itself said it was too early to assess the factory’s energy needs. Any comparison at this stage is “misleading or too imprecise”.
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