A Charlotte green technology company this morning was awarded as much as $11.7 million in state and local incentives for adding 250 jobs at its lithium ion battery plant in Cabarrus County.
The Economic Investment Committee at the N.C. Commerce Department unanimously approved the incentive award to Celgard in exchange for creating manufacturing jobs that pay an average wage of $37,912, above the county average. Gov. Bev Perdue is scheduled to make the jobs announcement at 10 a.m. in Concord, where Celgard is opening its facility to make membranes used in lithium-ion batteries.
Public officials are touting the Celgard expansion as the kind of development that will help establish North Carolina as a green energy hub. U.S Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, N.C. Department of Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco and other officials are expected to join Perdue at the facility's dedication ceremony.
Celgard, a division of the Charlotte-based Polypore International, now stands to receive as much as $21 million in state and local incentives for adding 539 jobs at the plant. The company qualified for up to $9.2 million in grants and incentives last year for a previous expansion at the Concord factory just north of Charlotte and about 150 miles west of Raleigh.
Celgard, which currently has 585 employees in the state, received a $49 million federal stimulus grant last year from the Department of Energy. And in April 2010, President Barack Obama visited Celgard for a backdrop to promote the creation of a clean-tech sector.
The incentive package approved today would also require Celgard to invest $105 million in the plant.
“Celgard is an innovative North Carolina company that is helping us realize the promise of a greener economy,” Gov. Perdue said in a statement. “We are able to create these ‘green collar’ jobs, and other skilled jobs across the state, because we have invested in education and built an educated, skilled workforce.”
The package includes $2.3 million in state JDIG grants, $425,000 in community college worker training, up to $4.2 million in tax exemptions and $3.8 million in tax credits.
Local incentives are still being finalized, but they would include at least a $500,000 matching grant.
To qualify for the incentives, Celgard has to retain at least 711 jobs in 2012 and 774 jobs after 2013.