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EV battery company eyes Louisiana for new facility – Louisiana Illuminator

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A Chinese company that produces chemicals for the electric vehicle (EV) battery sector is considering expanding into Louisiana with a new facility in Ascension Parish, state officials said.

Capchem Technology USA, a subsidiary of Shenzhen Capchem Technology Co., announced it is evaluating plans to invest $350 million to build an integrated carbonate solvent and lithium-ion battery electrolyte manufacturing facility that would be the largest of its kind in the United States, according to a press release from Louisiana Economic Development (LED).

The company expects to create 95 new full-time jobs with an average annual salary of $71,000, although it has made no official commitment to bring the project to Louisiana.

The facility would have the capacity to produce 200,000 tons of solvent and 100,000 tons of electrolyte annually. 

Louisiana chemical plant will convert to EV battery manufacturing

“Capchem USA’s consideration of a new EV battery-related manufacturing facility underscores yet again how Louisiana’s commitment to sustainability can strengthen our economy,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said in LED’s statement. “If the project comes to fruition, Capchem would bring cutting-edge technology to Ascension Parish, create high-paying jobs for our skilled manufacturing workforce and reinforce our state’s standing as a global hub of energy innovation and investment.”

Shenzhen Capchem Technology Co. was founded in China in 1996 and established its U.S. base in 2018. Far from a sure thing, Capchem’s proposed project is still in the very early phases. The company estimates construction on its Louisiana facility could begin in 2025 and conclude in 2028, pending the completion of commercial agreements and regulatory approvals.

The state has offered Capchem a wealth of tax breaks and other incentives, including a $2 million performance-based grant for infrastructure expenses contingent on meeting investment and employment targets. The company is also expected to participate in the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP) and Quality Jobs tax credit program.

The announcement comes on the heels of another company, Koura Global of Boston, that announced plans to enter the EV battery industry by retrofitting its plant in St. Gabriel to manufacture lithium hexafluorophosphate, a primary component in lithium-ion batteries. At full capacity, the plant would produce enough of the chemical to make more than a million EV batteries a year. 

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