DUBLIN, Ireland: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that Intel's new factory in Co Kildare will play a "strategic" role in developing Ireland and Europe's tech autonomy.
Varadkar also described Intel as "part of Ireland's economic success story."
The new manufacturing site, built in Leixlip, will employ thousands and double Intel's manufacturing floor space in Ireland.
Work on the new Intel factory began in 2019. Officials said it will be the first high-volume manufacturing location for the production of Intel-4 products.
Varadkar was present during the opening of the plant on September 29.
"Intel is an international company of distinction, has been very much part of Ireland's economic success story, employs a huge number of people here in Leixlip and is really important to Ireland economically in terms of investment and revenue," he said.
"Because one of our strategic objectives over the next couple of years is to make sure that more computer chips are manufactured here in the European Union, so that we're less dependent on other parts of the world, and this is a really important part of that wider objective to build our strategic autonomy."
Commenting on the Intel factory, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney said the new plant was another example of the importance of multinationals to the Irish economy.
"From a foreign direct investment point of view, it doesn't get much bigger than what we're celebrating today," he said.
"This is a project that has cost 17 billion euros. It has employed 5,000 construction workers since 2019 and it's resulting in Intel taking on approximately an extra 1,600 people.
"I think that those numbers remind us of just how important large multinationals here in Ireland are to our economy and to its future. This is now the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing facility in Europe by some margin."
Noting recent job losses in the tech industry in Ireland, Coveney said the lay-offs were due to increased costs, and added that the future of the industry in Ireland was positive.