New York's Empire State Development Corp. yesterday approved the transfer of a $1.2 billion incentive package from Advance Micro Devices Inc. to a new venture the firm is forming with a private equity company to help finance the construction of a micro chip plant near Albany, N.Y.

The state plans to sell $650 million of personal income tax bonds through the ESDC to fund grants as part of the incentive package which also includes tax breaks.

The vote had been expected to take place last month, but was postponed due to additional paperwork required when AMD announced in October it would create a new venture to build a 1.2 million-square-foot semiconductor wafer manufacturing facility at the Luther Forest Technology Campus in Malta.

State budget documents had forecast the bonds would be sold over five years beginning in the current fiscal year, which ends on March 31. The ESDC no longer expects those bonds to be sold in this fiscal year and does not a have a timetable for their sale.

The plant is expected to cost between $4.3 billion and $4.8 billion.

AMD and its partner, Advanced Technology Investment Co. of Abu Dhabi, plan to create an international firm called the Foundry Company. This new company will take over and expand AMD's wafer fabrication business. The Luther Forest project would be undertaken by AMD Fab Technologies US Inc., a subsidiary of the Foundry Company.

A three year build out on the plant is expected to begin in July.

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