Michigan Draws $2.4B Battery Materials Plant in Big Rapids

Gotion Inc., a subsidiary of China-based Gotion High-Tech Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of power batteries for electric commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, and hybrid vehicles, plans to construct a $2.4 billion manufacturing facility in Big Rapids that will include two plants for the production of battery precursor materials that will be used for electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and other applications.
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A rendering of the Gotion manufacturing facility coming to Big Rapids. // Courtesy of Gotion
A rendering of the Gotion manufacturing facility coming to Big Rapids. // Courtesy of Gotion

Gotion Inc., a subsidiary of China-based Gotion High-Tech Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of power batteries for electric commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, and hybrid vehicles, plans to construct a $2.4 billion manufacturing facility in Big Rapids that will include two plants for the production of battery precursor materials that will be used for electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and other applications.

Considered the largest economic development project ever made in Northern Michigan, Gotion’s development will help meet demand for battery production in North America. The project is expected to create up to 2,350 jobs.

To support the company’s investment, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved this week:

  • A Critical Industry Program grant through the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (“SOAR”) Fund in the amount of $125 million for the creation of up to 2,350 jobs in the Big Rapids area.
  • A 30-year MSF-designated Renaissance Zone to Mecosta County valued at $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.

In addition to its investment, Gotion will provide training and benefits to new employees. By adding to the state’s battery production capacity, government officials say the project will better position Michigan to win future OEM assembly plants and related suppliers.

Gotion’s investment is projected to create more than $11.5 billion in new personal income. In addition, the project has an employment multiplier of 3.13, which means that an additional 2.13 jobs in Michigan’s economy are anticipated to be created for every new direct job, due to the extensive supply chain that exists in the state, say government officials.

Green Charter Township, Big Rapids Charter Township, and Mecosta County have authorized a 30-year Renaissance Zone in support of the project. Green Charter Township and Big Rapids Charter Township also anticipate approval of a 50-percent property tax abatement.

Founded in 1998 and based in Hefei, China, Gotion High-tech Co. engages in the research and development, production, and sale of power lithium batteries in China and internationally.

Its products include lithium iron phosphate materials and batteries, ternary materials and batteries, power battery packs, battery management systems, and energy storage battery packs for use in electric commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, special vehicles, and hybrid vehicles.

Gotion also offers high-voltage electrical appliances, switchgear equipment, electrical digital equipment, intelligent distribution network equipment, serialized transformers, transformers, circuit breakers, integrated charging piles, on-board chargers, and energy storage cabinets for use in thermal power, hydropower, nuclear power, wind power, metallurgy, railway, and other industries.

Gotion was incorporated in California in 2014 and was focused on research and development activities in Fremont, Calif. as well as Cleveland. Now, future operations, including the Big Rapids project, will focus on establishing production capacity for the United States.

“We are thankful to the Big Rapids community, State of Michigan, and all who have supported us in getting the project to this important milestone. We are dedicated to bringing world class lithium battery production to North America and delivering high-quality products to our customers in a timely fashion. We look forward to our continued partnership to ensure a smooth launch,” says Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Global.

Once completed, the facility in Big Rapids is expected to produce 150,000 tons of cathode material per year, covering an area estimated to span 260 acres with plans to build two, 550,000 square foot production plants along with other supporting facilities.

Additionally, the project will involve the construction of two production plants specifically dedicated to producing anodes, ultimately resulting in 50,000 tons of anode material produced per year.

Michigan officials say the state won the project over Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Illinois, and Ohio.

For information on careers with Gotion, visit here.

In related news, the state has announced Muskegon County was awarded a $60 million Strategic Site Readiness Program performance-based grant for the Southeast Regional Force Main project impacting communities in Ottawa and Muskegon counties.

The project is intended to provide wastewater transport and disposal services for area agriculture companies, including Fairlife, Continental Dairy, DeVries Meats, Applegate Dairy, and Swanson Pickle. The companies plan to invest at least $187 million and create 145 jobs upon completion of the project.

The investment is meeting a need to increase wastewater capacity that has consistently been identified by local food processors in Ottawa and Muskegon counties as a barrier to growth. Development of the Southeast Regional Force Main will boost carrying capacity, removing a longstanding barrier to growth, and allowing key employers to grow.

Completion of the project will strengthen the state’s agriculture industry, which contributes $104.7 billion annually to Michigan’s economy. In addition to enabling existing employers to grow and expand, the project will serve as a catalyst for future investment in the area.

The project will also create opportunity for much-needed housing development and attraction of new businesses in rural, underserved communities in both Ottawa and Muskegon counties.

“Fairlife has been a proud part of the West Michigan community for more than a decade, and the teamwork and commitment to bettering the community demonstrated in this project is a testament to the continued opportunity here for all of us,” says Tim Doelman, CEO of Fairlife. “This critical project will help fuel the next decade of growth for our employees who live and work here, our farm partners, and our community as a whole.”

To learn more about the Southeast Regional Force Main project, visit here.

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