Gotion Inc, the U.S. subsidiary of Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion High-Tech, announced it will begin production next year at its gigafactory in Illinois state, creating 2,600 local jobs.
"The most significant new manufacturing investment in Illinois in decades", as Illinois Governor J.B.Pritzker put it, the project shows how teamwork at the local level can drive the slumbering U.S.-China relations in the business sector, and the clean and renewable energy sectors in particular.
"We are open for business," said Pritzker, adding that his state is equipped with skilled workers, sound infrastructure, and most importantly, "a collaborative economic growth mindset from partners in government at all levels".
Gotion's management confirmed its $2-billion plant on 61 hectares is under construction in Manteno, Kankakee County, for the production of lithium batteries for electric vehicles.
"We believe that Gotion's battery technology will help boost e-mobility in North America and the economic and trade exchanges between China and the U.S.," said Li Zhen, chairman of Gotion High-Tech. It has taken both sides over a year to approach each other, start the conversation, collaborate, negotiate and finally reach an agreement.
The prairie state heard its Chinese investors and responded. According to the governor's office, Illinois has offered Gotion a comprehensive Reimagining Energy and Vehicles, or REV, incentive package, through which the company is eligible for tax incentives worth $213 million over 30 years.
Gotion will also be the first recipient of the Invest in Illinois Fund to the tune of $125 million in capital funding for the company.
The fund, which was signed into law this year, aims to make the Midwestern state more attractive when vying for large projects in highly competitive sectors like clean energy.
" (It's) showing our continued commitment to making Illinois a renewable energy manufacturing powerhouse," said Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton.
Accordingly, Gotion needs to meet specific requirements, including a minimum investment of $1.9 billion, and the creation of 2,600 full-time jobs that are paid at least 120 percent of the average wage of similar job classifications in Kankakee County.
Once completed, the plant is expected to produce 10 gigawatt-hours, or GWh, of lithium-ion battery packs and 40 GWh of lithiumion battery cells.
Dan Seals, CEO of Intersect Illinois, an economic development organization, said Gotion will not only bring jobs and investment to Illinois but also help advance the EV ecosystem.