New TI plant could bring $29B investment

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
Texas Instruments is proposing to invest  $29.4 billion in  new production facilities in Sherman that could be built between 2022 and 2039.

A new Texas Instruments production plant in Sherman could bring nearly $29.4 billion of investment to Texoma over the course of 17 years. Last month when it filed an application for a property value limitation with the Sherman Independent School District, the tech manufacturer confirmed Sherman is a finalist site for a proposed multi-billion dollar production plant. 

The confirmation came more than a year after Texas instruments announced plans to cease operations at its existing facility amid a shift away from the product produced there.

The application for property value limitation, which has since been obtained by the Herald Democrat, gives a glimpse at the scale of the proposed plant.

"Given the long-term trend of semiconductors growth in electronics, TI has a roadmap that continues to strengthen our manufacturing and technology competitive advantage for the next 10 - 15 years to give us lower costs and greater control of our supply chain," a spokesperson for TI said in August. "As part of our long-term capacity planning, we are evaluating options for a future factory with the potential for expansion over time to meet the growing needs of our customers. Sherman, Texas is one of the possible options we are considering."

TI proposes a facility to make new products

Texas Instruments announced plans in 2020 to shutter its Sherman production facility and another site in Dallas by 2025. The semi-conductor and calculator maker has pledged to offer affected employees new jobs or severance packages, but questions remain about the local impact to industry and economic development.

The proposed new facility would replace the existing facility in Sherman, which is one of only two facilities in the company that still produce 150-millimeter silicon wafers.

The new facility, which would be built out over four phases across more than 547 acres of land surrounding its current facility. 

The facility would focus on creating advanced 300-millimeter semiconductor wafers that would then be assembled into finished semiconductors and sold for use in industrial, automotive, communications and personal electronics production.

"The existing facility is wholly incapable of being used in any way to manufacture 300-mm wafers," the application said. "... The existing building structure is too small and cannot house 300-mm tools and equipment. No elements of the existing facility will be used for the construction or operation of the new proposed facility, and there will be no interconnection between the two."

The manufacturer is proposing to build the new facility in four potential phases. The first phase would see construction begin in 2022 with equipment installation in 2024. Production will is expected to begin by 2025.

The application states that TI expects the first phase will see $6.5 billion in investment.

The second, third and fourth  phases would begin construction in 2028 at the same time. However, operations at the sites are expected to begin in 2031,3036 and 2039, respectively.

These additional phases are expected to see $7.5 billion, $7.6 billion and 8.3 billion for a total proposed investment of $29.4 billion.

TI's application also lists another possible location for the proposed facility. The manufacturer noted that Singapore is also in contention for the plant and has a history of wafer manufacturing.

TI is seeking property valuation limitation for project

These details on the project were included in a application to SISD under Texas Tax Code Chapter 313, also known as the Texas Economic Development Act. This act allows companies pursuing significant job-creating projects to request a limitation on the value of their property for the purposes of school property tax.

Officials with Sherman ISD announced Thursday that four campuses will transition to distance learning for the remainder of November starting on Monday.

For Sherman ISD, TI is seeking to limit the property valuation at $80 million.

The application, if approved, would effectively cap the property tax that the district could receive from TI for a 10-year period.

The TEDA was first adopted in 2001, but has been renewed several times since then. The act is currently slated to end at the end of 2022. As of this year, 509 of these agreements are in place across the state.

The amount of the minimum that that the district can collect is based on a number of factors, including the scope of the project and the value of properties within the district's taxing area.

In late August, the district accepted the application and has started the review process. Once this is completed, the application will be sent to the state comptroller's office for final approval.

SISD is the first of four taxing entities that collect from the proposed site to take action on the project. Sherman is slated to discuss possible tax abatements and other incentives in late October, with Grayson County slated to discuss it soon after.

TI could create more than 3,000 new jobs

Local leaders have lauded the project as a possible game changer for the city in part due tot he job creation expected to come with the site. TI's application states that each of the four phases is slates to create 800 new positions, with additional jobs coming in the form of on-site vendors and contractors.

As a part of Chapter 313, TI will be required to create certain number of jobs with wages that exceed 110 percent of the average county manufacturing wage for the past four quarters.

TI is expected to create 25 qualifying jobs for each phase, with these wages expected to be in excess of $74,946 per year. The remaining jobs will need to be in excess of the average weekly age of all jobs across the county, which was $920.75 per week at the time of application.