DuPont to invest $50M in new Glasgow facility
GLASGOW – DuPont plans to invest $50 million in building a new production facility for its semiconductor supplies business in Glasgow, moving an existing workforce from a Newark business park.
The DuPont Electronic & Industrial segment, the successor to the old Rohm & Haas Electronic Materials business, intends to build a new plant at the to-be-built First State Logistics Park sited at 149 acres near the intersection of Old Cooch’s Bridge Road and Route 896 near Glasgow High School and the Four Seasons shopping center. Once complete, DuPont would move its operations and 73 existing employees from a site in the Diamond State Industrial Park off Bellevue Road.
The production facility would be the first built by Chicago-based developer Logistics Property Company at the more than 1 million-square-foot logistics park that will also feature office and logistics space. The developer has already been working with the state’s economic development agency, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, and the New Castle County Department of Land Use on the project. DuPont hopes to take possession of the plant around this time next year, but it would take a considerable amount of time to fit-out the facility and pass best practice certifications.
On Monday morning, the state’s investment board, the Council on Development Finance, approved a jobs performance grant worth up to $65,550 to create 11 new jobs and a capital expenditure grant of more than $1.57 million to build the facility, for a total of $1.64 million. The vote was not unanimous, however, as Rep. Ed Osienki (D-Newark) voted against the grants, noting DuPont’s downsizing in the state in the last decade that has impacted many residents.
“It’s great that you’re considering staying here, but I question the need for Delawareans to come up with $1.6 million to get DuPont to remain here and add some jobs when Delaware suffered a lot,” he said.
Representatives from DuPont replied that while the company had unfortunately downsized here in recent years, it has taken efforts to reposition its assets for beneficial use, pointing toward the Delaware Innovation Space at the Experimental Station and the sale of part of its Chestnut Run campus to Pennsylvania developer MRA Group, which has begun a $500 million redevelopment.
Jason Gonzalez, the senior manager for government affairs at DuPont, noted that without the state’s taxpayer-backed Strategic Fund grants to build and staff the new facility “it would not be competitive” with sites identified in Maryland. The company sought other Delaware sites but was hamstrung by a statewide shortage of ready-made industrial space, he added.
The new 385,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will expand DuPont’s production of polishing discs used in the production of semiconductors, the tiny electrical chips integral to nearly all modern consumer, commercial and industrial products. Those chips got a domestic boost from the recent signing of the Biden administration’s $280 billion CHIPS Act that invests in their onshoring from Asia and investments in associated research.
In producing semiconductors, a silicon wafer base has multiple layers of circuitry placed upon it, and each layer has to be polished to nano-specific qualifications.
“That is absolutely critical to making these better and faster chips, and we have a lead position in the world,” said John Singer, vice president of integrated operations at DuPont.
The new facility will have a state-of-the-art clean room where the polishing discs will be produced, and Singer noted that the 11 new jobs to be created would be high-skill manufacturing that wouldn’t require college degrees but would be well compensated.
On Monday afternoon, Gov. John Carney touted the investment by DuPont in a statement, saying, “The DuPont Company has been part of Delaware’s DNA for 220 years. With this expansion of their semiconductor division, the company is showing their commitment to our state and workforce. This site will bring with it a new 385,000-square-foot facility and 10 new jobs close to its existing Newark campus at a time when semiconductors are needed more than ever. Thank you to DuPont Electronics & Industrial for continuing to make Delaware a part of the DuPont story.”