ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Toppan Photomasks Inc., a global company headquartered in Round Rock that specializes in manufacturing a key component in the semiconductor chip process, signed an agreement with the city to invest in modernizing its facility.

Round Rock City Council unanimously approved to pay the company a $1.25 million incentive if Toppan meets the requirements of investing at least $185 million into its facility and creating 50 new high-paying jobs. The incentive money will be paid out in three separate payments over the course of six years.

History of Toppan Photomasks in central Texas

Toppan Photomasks first moved into Round Rock back in 1986 and recently moved its headquarters to the city in 2020. The company has locations in Dresden, Germany, Shanghai, China and Icheon, South Korea.

“We chose Round Rock as our headquarters and pride ourselves on being a good community partner by investing in steady growth over the years, which in turn has allowed us to expand the number of high-paying manufacturing jobs in the Round Rock area,” John Nykaza, the president of Toppan Photomasks Round Rock, said to council during the meeting last week.

The company is an advanced manufacturer of photomasks, which are used to create semiconductor chips. Semiconductor chips are likened to the “brain” behind everyday technology ranging from cars to phones.

Congress passed the CHIPS Act last year, which provided funding to boost semiconductor manufacturing in the United States. And the boost is seen locally, as a Samsung semiconductor plant is currently being built in Taylor.

After a global shortage of semiconductor chips, the demand for the product is high. Toppan Photomasks is looking to capitalize off funding opportunities from the federal government and has decided to modernize its facility.

How much will be invested?

In order for Toppan Photomasks to receive the incentive from the City of Round Rock, it must follow its planned investments. The company will invest $157.4 million dollars in new equipment and about $28 million on building improvements, according to the agreement. The nearly 100,000-square-foot building will get bigger as the company makes more office space and additional room for new equipment.

The company will also add 50 new positions for its growing facility. The average pay for the employee will be $70,000 per year, according to a presentation from the city.

Per the agreement, the city is scheduled to pay $600,000 in December 2025 (Phase 1); $150,000 in December 2028 (Phase 2); and $500,000 in December 2029 (Phase 3).

What if the company fails to invest everything in the agreement?

The deal signed by the city and the company does provide a way for the city to get its incentive money back if the company does not meet all its requirements.

Since the money is paid out in phases, Toppan can keep some of the payments. For example, if Toppan meets its requirements by the first payment in December 2025, it will keep that money, even if it fails to meet the requirements in phases two and three.

“It’s just important to have businesses like you that are partners in this community,” Round Rock Mayor Craig Morgan said during the city council meeting.