Chinese EV battery maker plans to build plant in Michigan

Green Township Supervisor Jim Chapman confirmed there is a special meeting scheduled Monday when the applicant — which he would not confirm as Gotion but said is a Chinese battery manufacturer — will go before Green Township, Big Rapids Township and Mecosta County to apply for the tax break. The applicant will be at the meeting. He declined to disclose other details.

“We’ve been working hard not to release any other information,” Chapman said.

Paul Bullock, Mecosta County controller/administrator, said in a statement:

“In conjunction with our partners at Big Rapids Charter Township, Green Charter Township, MCDC, The Right Place, and MEDC, we’re actively working to make this extraordinary project a reality for Big Rapids. … We look forward to sharing more about this once-in-a-century opportunity for Big Rapids area in the coming days.”

Michigan electric utility Consumers Energy Co., which distributes electricity in Mecosta County and was approved less than a year ago to give a special economic development rate to very large businesses, also confirmed a major project is in the works.

“We are close to a potential partnership and transformation opportunity in the advanced manufacturing field in Big Rapids,” Consumers CEO Garrick Rochow said. “As transformations of the automotive and other energy-intensive industries continue, we’re enabling the state’s manufacturing infrastructure to adapt, grow and thrive.”

The site being considered for the battery plant is a shovel-ready parcel at the intersection of 18 Mile Road and 220th Avenue, which is partly in Green Township and partly in Big Rapids Township. The Big Rapids Township Airport Industrial Park is on the south side of the road, and the Green Township portion of the site is already zoned industrial.

“A site in the Big Rapids area that for the past 25 years has been assembled, developed and marketed for industrial development is being considered by one of the 10 largest advanced battery manufacturers in the world for a new battery production facility,” Randy Thelen, CEO of The Right Place, a regional economic development organization in Grand Rapids, said in a statement. “The community has been prepared for an opportunity like this to materialize to utilize the infrastructure, airport, access to freeways and locally trained talent pool.”

He said “all parties involved understand there are still numerous processes and steps to be taken before this project becomes a certainty. We remain hopeful to announce more details soon on this project that would position the region at the center of West Michigan’s growing mobility and EV sector.”

Attempts to reach Gotion for comment on Wednesday were not successful.

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