Battery Makers Invest 1.7 Billion in Michigan
In a state battered by years of unemployment rises and plagued by a dying manufacturing industry, good news arrived in the form of an announcement that four companies will invest billions in the state and create over 6,000 jobs in the process.
The Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) approved tax incentives worth over $500 million to attract the companies, a bid by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and the state legislature to lure advanced battery development and manufacturing to Michigan. The incentives have succeeded in luring four companies to invest heavily in the state.
A123Systems, a designer, developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, will invest more than $600 million in initial coating, cell manufacturing and pack assembly. The Watertown, Massachusetts-based company – which recently entered an agreement to develop and manufacture batteries for Chrysler – will start with a facility in Livonia, and could expand to other sites in Southeast Michigan. The venture has the potential to create more than 5,000 jobs.
KD Advanced Battery Group, a joint venture between The Dow Chemical Company, Kokam America and Townsend Ventures will invest $665 million to build a manufacturing plant in Midland, creating up to 900 jobs. The venture will build an 800,000-square-foot plant that will be able to build enough batteries annually to power 60,000 electric or hybrid vehicles.
Johnson Controls-Saft Advanced Power Solutions, which has partnered with Ford on hybrid and electric battery manufacturing, will invest $220 million to produce lithium-ion cells for automobiles. Creating almost 500 jobs, Johnson Controls will start with a site in Holland.
LG Chem, the Korean company that will work with GM to produce lithium-ion battery cells for the Volt, will partner-up with its Troy-based subsidiary Compact Power and GM to build a 660,000-square-foot plant. LG Chem will invest $200 million to produce the cells, though a site for the plant has not been announced yet. The project is expected to create more than 300 jobs.
Granholm thanks the companies for their investments at a MEGA board meeting.
“We have some phenomenal projects that we are announcing today,” she said.
“We are all about going from rust, to green.”
Source: Crain’s Detroit Business