Arlington Heights Daily Herald - June 2, 2015 | Original article

By Bob Susnjara

AKHAN Semiconductor plans to move its executive team into a Gurnee office by week's end, according to an update from the company's founder.

Gurnee trustees and Mayor Kristina Kovarik received the word at a meeting Monday night that featured AKHAN Semiconductor's Adam Khan. The announcement was latest move from the company that was lured to the village through a combination of tax incentives.

Democratic state Sen. Melinda Bush was among those present for the announcement about AKHAN planning to open its doors at a yet-to-be-secured Gurnee building this month.

"I have to tell you, this is what happens when people work together," Bush said. "I truly mean that. Look at how all of this has come together. And these are the kinds of things we need to be doing more in Illinois, more in the United States."

AKHAN has had a partnership with Argonne National Laboratory to develop technology using energy-efficient diamond film as semiconductors. Argonne announced last November it granted an exclusive licensing agreement for the technology to AKHAN, which is expected to become the first U.S. company to fully develop the process for industries such as aviation, defense and power.

Khan says the use of diamond semiconductors, rather than silicon, means devices can be made thinner and operate at higher temperatures, benefiting smartphones and "wearable" technology such as Google Glass.

In January, Gurnee village trustees approved what will be a combined $5.8 million in performance-based state and local tax breaks for AKHAN. Under Gurnee's end of the deal, AKHAN will receive a maximum of $1.5 million in sales tax rebates over five years.

AKHAN will receive the reimbursement only if the company generates sales tax, village officials stressed.

Outside the village hall chambers, Khan said production equipment will follow the executives toe Gurnee. AKHAN will be making a diamond "window" for high-powered lasers and other products for sale to the military defense industry.

"We've initiated the supply cycle with several customers," Khan said, "and that's why we want to be able to move in rather fast to Gurnee, so that (sales) can be completed here and that revenue can be produced for the town."

Documents show the entire package of local incentives -- including property tax abatements from the Warren and Woodland school districts, Gurnee Park District and Warren Township government -- will be worth roughly $2.3 million and come on top of $3.5 million available to AKHAN through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

AKHAN plans use the tax inducements to bring employees from Hoffman Estates and California to the Gurnee company headquarters and factory.

Khan said AKHAN expects to have about 80 workers, up from an originally projected 54.

Category: In The News

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