GTAT’s Merrimack Expansion Plan is to Grow, Create and Ship Sapphire Products

Posted: April 24, 2014 by mattmargolis24 in GTAT Merrimack Expansion Plans
Tags: , , , , ,

by Matt Margolis


Highpoint Engineering was brought in to begin planning the project approximately 2 weeks before the April 1, 2014 Merrimack Planning Board presentation.  It is likely, based on the dates above that GTAT was presented with a sapphire materials opportunity sometime in early March that will ultimately result in GT’s strategic decision to shift their R&D facility to a sapphire growth, product creation and shipping operations.

GT’s Merrimack construction plans include building construction and interior work that will displace the administrative services functions.  The expansion includes a 23,000 per floor additional that is 2 floors and measures 65 feet by 350 feet long.

GT’s exterior infrastructure improvements include installing up to 6 transformers and up to 1 to 2 cooling towers.  Currently the site has 1 inert “Argon” tank and the plan is to add 2 inert gas tanks, one consisting of Helium and one consisting of Nitrogen.  The additional inert gas tanks will measure approximately 8 to 10 feet in diameter by 15 to 18 feet in height.  The facility will include backup generators and UPS systems, since GT can ill afford a nanosecond of power disruption while growing sapphire boules.

The facility will accommodate 307 parking spaces up from 221 spaces currently at the location.  The number of parking spaces were noted as adequate because the operation will include “swing shift” employees (24/7) operations.  The internal shift from R&D to Manufacturing has already begun within the existing facility.  The lead engineer from Highpoint Engineering has indicated that there has been a significant uptick in truck traffic over the last few weeks (3/17 /14 to 4/1/14) to move equipment and prep the building for manufacturing.  The equipment operation is lessening and t he manufacturing process is increasing to grow boules, create a product and ship it out.  The facility is expected to have 2 loading docks for shipping and receiving.

Merrimack Site Plan Image (The expansion of plant is the yellow sliver)

Merrimack site plan 1


Merrimack site plan 2

Merrimack site plan 3


Full Disclosure: I am long GTAT and have no plans to buy or sell any holdings


  1. bwkoenig says:

    Great work Matt! This raises some questions for me. What has happened to cause them to expedite plant expansion at Merrick when they already have a huge facility in Mesa? This sounds like something new and unplanned in the Apple/GTAT deal. Also, where are they manufacturing Hyperion? and are they at risk of falling behind on their other efforts with so much sapphire business?

    Thanks for your comments.


    • Hyperion was in their Danvers, MA location during development and testing. Someone new lined up at the door or someone existing (Apple) needs something else that can’t be done from Mesa.


  2. Dick LeCompte says:

    That is an Argon tank. Not Oregon
    Argon is an inert process gas


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