Michigan Taxpayers Footing $27 Million for Hemlock Semiconductor Expansion

by Scott McClallen


Michigan taxpayers are footing $27 million for a Hemlock Semiconductor Operations project that the company says will create 170 jobs at its Saginaw County headquarters.

The company says it is spending $375 million on a new project to meet the increasing global demand for hyper-pure polysilicon in the semiconductor and solar industries.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer welcomed the new project.

“Hemlock Semiconductor’s investments in Michigan will help bring the semiconductor supply chain from China to Michigan and create more good-paying jobs in the Saginaw region,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Thanks to HSC’s continued investment in our state – which spans decades – Michigan will keep competing for and winning investments over other states up and down the high-tech manufacturing supply chain for chips and solar panels. The impact of this investment will be felt around the state for decades and continue our economic momentum as we build the future of this transformational industry right here in Michigan.”

HSO manufactures polysilicon and is the largest producer of high-purity polysilicon in the U.S. High-purity polysilicon is a key ingredient to create semiconductor chips. The company currently employs 1,350 people.

The Michigan Strategic Fund approved giving Thomas Township a $27 million Strategic Site Readiness Program performance-based grant funded through the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve Fund.

Thomas Township and Saginaw Township must expand sanitary sewer capacity for the HSC site, including the construction of two new lift stations and five miles of sewer mains.

The infrastructure upgrades will bring expansion opportunities at the Great Lakes Tech Park, a 244-acre shovel-ready site owned by the Saginaw County Economic Development Corp. and developed by Saginaw Future through Community Development Block Grant funds approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund in 2009.

“This investment in local infrastructure supports HSC’s ability to improve and expand our operations and helps us remain globally competitive,” Hemlock Semiconductor Operations Chairman and CEO AB Ghosh said in a statement. “Today’s announcement proves Michigan is serious about prioritizing the growth of high-tech businesses.”

JoAnn Crary, president of Saginaw Future Inc., said that HSO is one of the region’s largest employers and taxpayers and welcomed the deal.

Thomas Township anticipates approval of a $20.5 million property tax abatement for the project. The Saginaw Road Commission has applied for a $650,000 Transportation Economic Development Fund grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation, and Saginaw Township has received a $10 million legislative appropriation to help with the project.

“A development of this magnitude takes many partners working together for success,” Thomas Township Manager Russ Taylor said in a statement. “We are so pleased with the collaborative efforts of our community, Saginaw Township, Saginaw Future and the MEDC to support Hemlock Semiconductor’s continued growth and we look forward to taking this through our local process.”

Michigan Economic Development Corporation CEO and Michigan Strategic Fund President and Chair Quentin Messer Jr. thanked lawmakers for creating the SOAR fund.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates our strong partnerships at the local and regional level and ensures that Michigan’s economic recovery is experienced by all 10 million of our friends and neighbors,” Messer said in a statement.

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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Semiconductor” by manseok_Kim.




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