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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Battery parts company to build in Lincoln County, add 545 jobs

A battery parts company will build a manufacturing plant in Lincoln County that will create 545 jobs, adding to the state’s growing electronic battery and vehicle industry.

China-based Green New Energy Materials makes a key component used in lithium-ion batteries. Its first manufacturing operation in the United States will result in a $140 million investment in Denver, which is between Charlotte and Hickory.

Green New Energy Materials, with strategic partners such as LG and Samsung, manufactures battery separator products for the lithium-ion battery industry. The components are widely used in electric vehicles, energy storage, electric tools and other industrial applications.

The company’s facility in Lincoln County will supply customers across North America. It has partnerships with Tesla, Volkswagen and Ford.

“Through their close cooperation, the state of North Carolina and GNEM will continue to grow and solidify their leadership in building resilient and secured clean energy supply chain, and super charge the green transition in North America and across the planet,” says Jay Zhu, general manager for Green New Energy Materials, in a statement.

In the past year, North Carolina has received commitments for thousands of jobs around electronic battery and vehicle manufacturing. Toyota is investing $13.9 billion and adding more than 5,000 jobs at an electronic battery plant in Randolph County. Vietnamese electronic vehicle manufacturer VinFast plans to build a plant in Chatham County that could employ more than 7,000.

In February, a joint venture announced plans to spend $60 million and add 133 jobs for a production facility in Liberty that will make parts for electronic vehicle batteries. And in November, Dai Nippon Printing Co., a lithium-ion battery pouch manufacturer, disclosed plans to create 352 new jobs and invest $233 million to build its first U.S. advanced manufacturing plant in Davidson County.

Colorado-based material science company Forge Nano announced plans last year to launch a lithium-ion battery business in Morrisville with an investment of more than $165 million. And India-based Epsilon Advanced Materials plans to build an electronic vehicle battery materials plant just south of Wilmington and add 500 jobs.

Although wages will vary depending on the position, the average salary at the Green New Energy plant will be $57,934. The current average wage in Lincoln County is $51,886.

The project in North Carolina is being facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier Thursday. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $1.15 billion.

The agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $3.6 million spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets.

The project’s projected return on investment of public dollars is 105%, meaning for every dollar of potential cost to the state, the state receives $2.05 in state revenue.

Because Green New Energy chose a site in Lincoln County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, the agreement also calls for moving $1.2 million into the state’s Industrial Development Fund utility account. The account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business.

Chris Roush
Chris Roush
Chris Roush is executive editor of Business North Carolina. He can be reached at croush@businessnc.com.

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