In a decision that caught everyone unawares, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced on Monday, 2nd February, 2015 that it intended to invest as much as $2 billion in a factory located at Mesa, Arizona, which was previously being operated by GT Advanced Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:GTAT). While the investment will be staggered over a period of a decade, Apple Inc has made known its plans to transform it into a data common center and generate employment, reports CNBC.
Acquired in 2013 from First Solar, initially Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) had leased out this facility to GT Advanced Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:GTAT) so that it could be used for manufacturing sapphire screens for the company’s flagship product, namely iPhone. In October 2014, GT Advanced technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:GTAT) filed for bankruptcy and released its lease documents with the opinion that the deal had been lop-sided and hence unfavorable.
Now that it is back with Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), plans are afoot to transform this facility of 1.3 million square feet into a bustling data center which will generate full-time employment for 150 people and construction and trade jobs to the tune of 300 to 500. It is slated to depend on solar energy for power and is meant to serve as a base for setting up a 70-MW plant that will have the capacity to harness power to meet the needs of 14,500 homes.
Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey was appreciative of Apple Inc’s move and expressed his approval in the following statement –
“Its decision to bring this new facility to Mesa is a huge win for Arizona and a high testament to our business-friendly climate and talented workforce. This expansion will bring a significant economic investment, and propel Arizona’s position as one of the best states in the nation in which to do business.”
Mayor of Mesa, John Giles, was also euphoric about the deal and said that he liked it better than the one with GT Advanced Technologies Inc (OTCMKTS:GTAT) because it involved Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) directly rather than a sub-contractor.
This article has been written by Vinita Basu.