Gov. Whitmer, MSF announce investment in Big Rapids battery production facility

(WLUC)
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:47 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2022 at 5:58 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced Wednesday that the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) has invested support in global battery company Gotion establishing a Big Rapids manufacturing facility.

Governor Whitmer said the MSF Board approved support that will enable up to a $2.364 billion investment in Michigan and up to 2,350 new jobs in Big Rapids and the surrounding area when Gotion establishes a facility in Big Rapids to serve increasing demand in the battery production industry.

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’s $2.36 billion investment... is the biggest ever economic development project in Northern Michigan and will shore up our status as the global hub of mobility and electrification,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am proud that Republicans and Democrats worked across the aisle... Together, we will continue winning investments in this space and become the preeminent destination for electric vehicle and mobility companies. We will work with anyone and compete with everyone to keep bringing supply chains of batteries, chips, and electric vehicles home to Michigan.”

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.

“We are thrilled to congratulate the Gotion team on choosing Michigan as their American home for opportunity!” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the MEDC and president and chair of the MSF Board. “We are grateful for the support and collaboration from our multiple local partners at the city and country levels, our partners at The Right Place and Consumers Energy, in particular, and appreciate the bipartisan support of the legislature to bring these good-paying jobs and economic opportunities to our friends and neighbors both here in Big Rapids and throughout the region.”

In addition to MSF support, both Green Charter Township and Big Rapids Charter Township anticipate approval of a PA 198 real property tax abatement. Green Charter Township, Big Rapids Charter Township, and Mecosta County have also authorized a 30-year Renaissance Zone in support of the project.

“This project has the potential to provide great jobs to multiple generations of our citizens,” said Mecosta County Controller/Administrator Paul Bullock. “Citizens who will not have to leave our community for this type of opportunity, but who will be able to stay, grow, and enrich our community through their presence.”

“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,” said Chuck Thelen, vice president of Gotion Global.

The MEDC says the influx of jobs could result in spin-off investments and redevelopment opportunities. Over $11.5 billion in new personal income is expected to be generated by the direct, indirect, and induced jobs that this opportunity will create over 20 years.