GM and Ultium propose economic development in Michigan | News, Sports, Jobs

GM and Ultium propose economic development in Michigan | News, Sports, Jobs

LANSING — Nondisclosure agreements signed between select state lawmakers and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation & Travel Michigan (MEDC) had no connection the Jan. 21 stated announcement that General Motors Corporation’s General Motors and Ultium Cells (a battery developer run by GM and LG Energy Solution)are planning a $6.5 billion investment in electric vehicle and battery plants in Michigan, according to state documents published Friday, a further step in GM’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2040.

Otie McKinley, Media and Communications Manager, of the MEDC, said rather, the NDAs were agreements between the MEDC and lawmakers. The NDAs, he said, were signed with the lawmakers to allow the MEDC to inform them on some projects that could potentially look at Michigan, that would require a different type of business attraction tool. From the meetings between the MEDC and those legislators, came the Dec. 20, 2021, passage of the bipartisan Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (SOAR) package to “support small businesses and fully fund a historic economic development toolkit to make Michigan a national leader in business attraction,” as stated in a release from the Governor’s Office.

The same release states that the MEDC has several transformational projects in its pipeline that would invest billions of dollars into Michigan, create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs for Michiganders, and continue the state’s strong economic growth. These programs will support business retention and attraction efforts across regions through improved site readiness efforts and create a new “home court” advantage for automotive, electric vehicle, and advanced manufacturing growth in the state.

The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) at its Jan. 25 monthly Board meeting, discussed General Motors and Ultium Cells and adopted a resolution to approve Critical Industry Program grant, Renewable Energy Renaissance Zone/MSF Designated Renaissance Zone, and Strategic Site Readiness Program grant.

The 11-member MSF board has statutory authority to direct state appropriations to support business development, community development, talent enhancement and state marketing activities, including the promotion of tourism, film industry, arts and cultural affairs.

GM and LG Energy Solution plan to spend $2.5 billion on a battery factory in Lansing, and GM is aiming to invest $4 billion to expand a plant in Orion Township that will manufacture electric Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources, reported on Jan. 21.

A Jan. 25 memo to the MST Fund Board, forwarded to the Daily Mining Gazette by McKinley, says GM requests $600 million Critical IIndustryProgram (CIP) Grant for the creation of a minimum of 3,200 jobs with the potential for up to 4,000 new jobs related to the expansions of GM and Ultium. The total grant amount will be split between the two.

Ultium requests a Renewable Energy Renaissance Zone for a period of 18 years or an MSF Designated Renaissance Zone in the event the State Administrative Board does not approve the Renewable Energy Renaissance Zone on or before Dec. 31 which will

require a minimum investment of $1.5 billion with the potential for up to $2.5 billion (Renaissance Zone Request), and Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) requests a $66.1 million Strategic Site Readiness Program (SSRP) Grant for public infrastructure and utility upgrades.

The memo goes on to state that GM and Ultium have been involved in a multi-state site selection to determine where to locate the new high volume battery cell manufacturing facility and investment. Consideration on placement includes site availability and site readiness as well as costs of implementation and ongoing operations, availability of talent, utility and labor costs.

GM has considered Michigan for previous battery cell manufacturing projects, the memo states, but ultimately chose locations in the key competitor states of Ohio and Tennessee based on incentive assistance offered by those states. Incentive assistance is necessary to ensure this project moves forward in Michigan, particularly in a highly competitive environment, the memo states.

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