Apple granted approval for “limited” go-live at Arizona sapphire plant on January 14, 2014

Posted: April 9, 2014 by mattmargolis24 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

by Matt Margolis

On January 29th 9to5mac broke news that Apple that was aggressively pushing to take the sapphire plant live in February for ‘critical’ component. 9to5mac published Apple’s Production Notification Application for the Foreign-Trade Zone No. 221 for “Project Cascade” in Mesa, AZ.  As highlighted by 9to5mac the intent of Project Cascade was to conduct high-tech manufacturing for intermediate goods/components for consumer electronics.  This high-tech manufacturing process was set create a critical new sub-component of Apples Products to be used in the manufacture of the consumer electronics that will be imported and sold globally.  Additionally, Apple’s production notification application indicated that Apple had an aggressive go-live timeline of February 2014.  Apple’s Production Notification Application dated 12/30/13 can be found in the images below:

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Apple Granted Approval Limited Go-Live on January 14, 2014 and C-of-O to begin Production with 140 Tools

The latest documents pulled from the Foreign-Trade Zone indicate that Apple’s approval to establish Subzone 221A was approved on January 14, 2014.  The Foreign-Trade Zone approval indicates that the approval is subject “to the existing activation limit of FTZ 221, on behalf of Apple Inc//Gt Advanced Technologies Inc., in Mesa, AZ”. The approval also states that, “Pursuant to the authority delegated to the FTZ Board Executive Secretary (15 CFR Sec. 400.36(f)), the application to establish Subzone 221A is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board’s regulations, including Section 400.13, and further subject to FTZ 221’s preexisting
activation limit.”

The approval indicates that the approval is subject to FTZ 221’s preexisting activation limits, which indicate that only a phase of the plant was granted approval to “go-live”.   The sapphire plant has most likely producing sapphire within a specific sapphire growth furnace activation limit subject to the “FTZ 221’s preexisting activation limit.”  Additionally a temporary permit was issued on January 10, 2014 for “Quick Start 140 Area” to commence production of 140 tools (furnaces) for Module 1. The facility lease agreement between GT Advanced Technologies and Apple Inc does indicate that the Mesa sapphire facility will have 9 designated phases.  It is likely Apple and GT Advanced were granted approval to go-live within one of the 9 phases referred to in the facility lease agreement.

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Foreign-Trade Zone Notice of Approval for Subzone 221 in Mesa, AZ

On January 14, 2014, the Executive Secretary of the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board docketed an application submitted by the City of Mesa, grantee of FTZ 221, requesting subzone status subject to the existing activation limit of FTZ 221, on behalf of Apple Inc./GT Advanced Technologies Inc., in Mesa, Arizona.

The application was processed in accordance with the FTZ Act and Regulations, including notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment (79 FR 3778, 01/23/2014). The FTZ staff examiner reviewed the application and determined that it meets the criteria for approval. Pursuant to the authority delegated to the FTZ Board Executive Secretary (15 CFR Sec. 400.36(f)), the application to establish Subzone 221A is approved, subject to the FTZ Act and the Board’s regulations, including Section 400.13, and further subject to FTZ 221’s preexisting activation limit.

Below is also a copy of the temporary C-of-O for Quick Start Area 140 issued on 1/10/14

Dated: March 19, 2014

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Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    Is it just me or is anybody else wondering whether “Project Cascade” is a tongue in cheek reference to the “cascading” of heat between furnaces as described in the “Heat Exchangers in Sapphire Processing” patent highlighted recently by Matt in his “Secret Design of the Mesa Sapphire Matrix” article?

    Haven’t posted here before Matt but have enjoyed your GTAT-focused posts here and on SA. Thanks!

    Like

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