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ASML has signed a letter of intent with the city of Eindhoven (The Netherlands) for large-scale expansion of the company. The chosen site for that expansion is the city’s Brainport Industries Campus (BIC). This would allow for 20,000 additional jobs.

The Eindhoven city council will make its final decision in June, reports Dutch daily De Telegraaf. ASML wants to expand and would prefer to do so as close to its home base in Veldhoven as possible. The company indicated earlier that more investments are needed to keep the manufacturer in the Netherlands. In addition, the Dutch parliament must ensure that favourable tax rules for expats remain in place. ASML reiterated these and other wishes along with seven other chip companies in early April.

‘ASML must continue to grow’

Chief of Global Affairs at ASML Frank Heemskerk, former Minister of Foreign Affairs (2006-2010), communicated his company’s wishes clearly. “ASML must continue to grow to meet the enormous demand for microchips, and we ask you to enable this growth, preferably in the Netherlands, where we are running up against the limits of our growth.”

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In response, Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s outgoing cabinet promised to invest in the sector, together with the Eindhoven region. This involves 2.5 billion euros in additional spending for technical universities and Brainport Eindhoven in particular, including about 500 million for local infrastructure development.

The Dutch government also expects something in return. ASML must make “further investments in the Netherlands” and remain based in this country. The government’s investments should also reassure chip maker NXP, one of the other companies that initially voiced its concerns.

Getting more local staff

A one-time investment of 450 million in technical education until 2030 is not limited to the Technical University of Eindhoven; TUs in Groningen, Enschede, and Delft will also benefit. After 2030, the annual investment will be 80 million. The government hopes this will prepare more local personnel to work in the chip industry.

Other criticism from ASML focused on a perceived overabundance of bureaucracy and the possible immigration restrictions the intended new administration will implement. These will make it difficult for chip companies to employ foreign talent, while the influx of international students would be drastically reduced.

Currently, the company has 23,000 employees in the Netherlands and 42,000 worldwide. ASML’s intended growth should also create another 45,000 jobs at suppliers and adjacent industries.

Also read: Can 2.5 billion euros keep ASML in the Netherlands?