Suppliers follow Samsung’s lead in Central Texas

Recent filings show Linde and Valex making big moves around the Austin metro

A photo illustration of 12100 Samsung Boulevard (Getty Images, Samsung)
A photo illustration of 12100 Samsung Boulevard (Getty Images, Samsung)

Northern Austin submarkets are riding a wave of development drawn by Samsung’s massive planned expansion in the area.

The first is Taylor, where Samsung’s $17 billion semiconductor factory is under construction. The South Korean tech giant has also filed plans to build another 11 semiconductor fabrication plants — or “fabs” — over the next 20 years in the central Texas region. It would mean an investment of about $192 billion for the area with the company seeking almost $2.5 billion in Chapter 313 tax abatements.

Now Linde Inc., a subsidiary of natural gasses giant Praxair, is following in Samsung’s footsteps, the Austin-American Statesman reports. The Connecticut-based company plans to “build, install and operate the necessary industrial gasses to support the proposed Samsung facility,” it said in its Chapter 313 application — in which it submitted a request for $11 million in tax abatements. Linde would locate its industrial gas plant on Samsung’s Taylor property.

According to the application, Linde would invest $271 million on the project. Upon completion, however, the company is seeking a waiver to allow it to create only 10 permanent jobs — far below the requirement for Chapter 313 agreements involving nonrural school districts — because “the jobs creation requirement exceeds the industry standard for the number of employees reasonably necessary for the operation of the facility.”

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Without the tax break, “the impact of comparatively high Texas property taxes on the cost of the project does not allow the project to compete for global customers,” the company said in its application. It is unclear, however, which “global customers” Linde would need to compete for, since the facility would be built at the Samsung site, expressly to supply its operations.

The state comptroller’s office still must sign off on Linde’s Chapter 313 application before it goes back to the Taylor school board for final consideration.

In nearby Round Rock, Valex — another Samsung supplier — has already received approval for incentives to build out a 60,000-square-foot facility there. The Ventura, CA-based precision piping manufacturer will move forward with a minimum $12 million capital investment in Crystal Park at 120 E. Old Settlers Blvd.

Valex has also targeted Georgetown, just north of Round Rock, for its second Austin-area location. The Austin Business Journal reported that the company plans to occupy about 191,000 square feet in the future NorthPark35 industrial park in Georgetown.

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