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Chip companies in the Gelderland province in the Netherlands need vast subsidies, according to the local government. Together with The Economic Board Arnhem Nijmegen, it pleads for extra support towards the semiconductor industry in the region. If not, several tech companies would seek refuge elsewhere.

The province has called the request for support “Chopin.” It is a clear play on “Beethoven,” the name for the Dutch government’s plan to satisfy ASML and the Eindhoven region with billions of euros of government aid. Helga Witjes, deputy for economy and innovation of the province of Gelderland, states that a “strong and complete chain of the semiconductor industry” can also be found “on the axis from Twente via Nijmegen and Arnhem to Eindhoven.” In other words, the region right in between the two areas that have now received vast sums of money in support of the local chip sector. Examples of important chip companies in the Gelderland region are plentiful, such as Nijmegen-based NXP and Duiven-based Besi (BE Semiconductor).

It seems to bother the initiators that recent government commitments do not take into account the Gelderland chip sector. Only the Eindhoven and Twente regions are highlighted, while the area in between would also be crucial.

Read also: Can 2.5 billion euros keep ASML in the Netherlands?

Hundreds of millions of support

Companies in the region are said to have threatened to relocate if no additional support arrives. For that reason, Witjes is calling for guidance at the national level, with hundreds of millions of euros of support made available for development in Gelderland. It is a less imposing demand than the 2.5 billion euros the Eindhoven region received, but it remains to be seen whether the province will get its way.

ASML threatened for some time to leave if there was not enough support from The Hague. This did not only involve demands for financial support, but also for promises regarding migration to bring in the desired employees. The support came to 2.5 billion euros, which according to Mayor of Eindhoven Jeroen Dijsselbloem is still not enough. Because the current cabinet is outgoing, it would have kept its hand on the purse strings. Actually, according to Dijsselbloem, it should have invested up to 8 billion euros.

Tip: ‘Billions more needed to keep ASML in the Netherlands’

Infrastructure

Eindhoven’s investments are being used diversely, with residential land as the main cost. An upgrade of the entire infrastructure in the region should be realized in the coming years. In Gelderland, the province is thinking about a similar investment. “We have the same issues. We have the same infrastructure and we also need to extend highways and build 100,000 houses,” says director of The Economic Board Jan van Dellen.

If investment fails to materialize, Germany would be eager to welcome the companies. “In Germany they are rattling the purse strings. There, they’re saying: we’ve got the space and there are millions in subsidies for you to get,” says Van Dellen.

Especially the most prominent chip companies in Gelderland are said to be about to leave. Van Dellen does not name names, but NXP is an obvious candidate. That company recently presented its quarterly figures, which were quite positive despite challenges in the EV market. It is the second largest chip specialist domestically after ASML.