TowerJazz Awaits Treasury Nod on Grant Case

While the Industry minister has agreed to reconsider giving TowerJazz a grant, now the company is waiting for the word from the Finance Ministry. Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer had consented to reconsider a request by TowerJazz, formerly known as Tower Semiconductor, for a $80 million grant, which the Ofer family company claims the state owes it. The request also requires Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz's consent.

The case goes back to 2000, when Tower got approval for a $250 million grant over five years to build a fab in Migdal Haemek. The company failed to meet targets in connection with the grant and only received $180 million.

The grant expired in 2005, but Tower proceeded with plans for the plant anyway. The Investment Center's appeals committee recommended reconsideration but a senior Finance Ministry source said the treasury would not consent if the approval for the grant expired.