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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Colorado company invests $165 million for Wake County lithium battery plant

Colorado-based material science company Forge Nano plans to launch a lithium-ion battery business in Morrisville with an investment of more than $165 million.

The new business, Forge Battery, expects its lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant to employ 204 workers and be operational in 2026, according to a release from the state.

Forge Nano improves the performance of materials used in batteries by applying specialized, atomic-scale coatings using proprietary industrial manufacturing equipment. The technology, called Atomic Armor, offers manufacturers protective nano-coating that can increase the battery’s energy density, improve safety, and extend usable lifetime.

Forge Battery intends to build and operate a battery manufacturing facility in Morrisville with Gigawatt hour capacity. Forge Battery plans to utilize Forge Nano’s proprietary Atomic Armor technology to produce high-performance lithium-ion batteries that meet or beat performance targets of industry standard lithium-ion technology.

Atomic Armor also expects to improve production efficiency and drive down Forge Battery cell costs due to the removal of expensive material additives used in the traditional lithium-ion manufacturing process. Forge Battery will supply these batteries to a wide range of domestic and international clients. 

“Lithium-ion cells utilizing Forge Nano’s Atomic Armor technology have exceeded our customer’s expectations, and in turn, increased demand for the technology that outstrips the current manufacturing capabilities,” says Paul Lichty, CEO of Forge Nano, in a statement. “We are extremely excited to launch Forge Battery in North Carolina, where we intend to produce batteries for the world’s most demanding applications, while showcasing the power of Forge Nano’s Atomic Armor coating equipment in a large-scale manufacturing environment.”

Wages will vary depending on the position. The payroll impact for the project is expected to be more than $16 million each year.

Forge Battery’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a $1.5 million Job Development Investment Grant approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee on Tuesday, Nov. 14. Over the course of the 12-year term of the grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $655 million.

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.

Forge Battery also received $508,500 from the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account to help finance infrastructure upgrades.

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