It's the largest economic development project ever in northern Michigan and will shore up the state's position as a global hub for mobility and electrification, said Michigan's governor.
Volkswagen-backed Chinese power battery giant Gotion High-tech will invest billions of dollars in a battery materials plant in Michigan, despite scrutiny of such investments due to US-China decoupling concerns.
Gotion has chosen Big Rapids for its $2.36 billion battery component manufacturing facility, which will create 2,350 high-paying jobs, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said in an October 5 statement.
It is the largest economic development project ever undertaken in northern Michigan and will solidify the state's position as a global hub for mobility and electrification, Whitmer said.
Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Hefei, China, Gotion was incorporated in California in 2014, with research and development activities primarily in Fremont, California, and Cleveland, Ohio.
The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) Board approved the investment by Gotion, which will launch a multi-phase project in Big Rapids to build a battery component manufacturing facility there to serve North American and global customer base, according to the statement.
Once completed, Gotion's plant is expected to produce 150,000 tons of cathode material per year, with two 550,000-square-foot production plants planned as well as other supporting facilities.
In addition, the project will involve the construction of two production plants dedicated to the production of anodes, ultimately producing 50,000 tons of anode material per year.
In order to secure the project -- which Michigan won out over Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Illinois and Ohio -- the MSF Board approved a package of incentive support, including:
A $125 million Critical Industry Program performance-based grant through the SOAR Fund
An MSF Designated Renaissance Zone estimated to be worth $540 million
A $50 million Strategic Site Readiness Program performance-based grant through the SOAR Fund will be administered by The Right Place to assist with infrastructure improvements.
The direct, indirect and induced jobs that this opportunity will create are expected to generate more than $11.5 billion in new personal income over 20 years, the statement said.
Gotion is China's fourth-largest power battery maker, with a 4.76 percent market share in the country in August, behind CATL, BYD and CALB, according to the China Automotive Battery Innovation Alliance.