Detroit to become new global hub for advanced manufacturing, clean energy

Posted at 11:48 AM, Jan 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-23 11:48:29-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday, the city of Detroit will become the home of the U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center — solidifying the city and the state as global leaders of the future of mobility and vehicle electrification.

Fortescue, a global provider of zero emission resources for the production of renewable energy, has partnered with the state to develop the project located at 601 Piquette Avenue in Detroit.

“By choosing Michigan for its first U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center, Fortescue will create up to 600 jobs and build on our economic momentum,” said Governor Whitmer. “Report after report shows that Michigan is leading the future of advanced manufacturing and clean energy. Fortescue’s expansion in Michigan and so many of the other investments we are competing for and winning are helping us make communities across our state better places to live, work, and invest. Let’s keep our foot on the accelerator and keep delivering on the issues that make a real difference in people’s lives so anyone can ‘make it’ in Michigan.”

The new facility is expected to generate up to 600 manufacturing and engineering jobs and help support Michigan’s goal of positioning the state as the global leader in electric vehicle technology.

Fortescue says the Piquette Avenue facility will act as a major hub for the production of automotive and heavy industry batteries, hydrogen generators, fast chargers, and electrolyzers.

“Detroit is an extremely attractive place to manufacture, given the skilled workforce, existing EV and clean energy supply chains, and strong support from state and local government,” said Fortescue WAE CEO Judith Judson. “Fortescue is committed to being a valued government and community partner and working alongside the people of Detroit.”

Through an initial investment of $35 million, the Piquette Avenue facility will be refurbished and developed into the Advanced Manufacturing Center to create manufacturing and engineering workspaces for EV battery systems.

Fortescue says the first battery line is expected to be installed during the first half of 2025, with the new facility expected to be up and running by 2030.

“The production in the facility will initially be focused on customers across North America, with high potential for international sales based on expected economic and technical competitiveness, along with international customer requirements,” Fortescue said.

The company says it plans “to develop a comprehensive North American supply base that will provide Michigan suppliers with the opportunity to grow across multiple green energy industries.”

The Michigan Strategic Fund approved the following to support the project:

  • A $9 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant; 
  • A 15-year, 100 percent State Essential Services Assessment exemption valued at $1,300,950; 
  • State tax capture valued at $2,374,413 for the reimbursement of brownfield activities at the site.

“Fortescue’s decision to locate in Detroit to develop its new Advanced Manufacturing Center adds to our city’s momentum in attracting sustainability and clean energy investments and the good-paying jobs they bring,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “It also is another major piece of the revitalization taking place on this stretch of Piquette Street, along with the redevelopment of the Fisher Body 21 and Studebaker plants into hundreds of units of new mixed-income housing. We are grateful to the Michigan Strategic Fund for its support of this project.

The project will also be supported by the City of Detroit’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority through the brownfield work plan valued at $4,246,411. The city has also promised an Industrial Facilities Tax abatement valued at up to $7,684,208.

To learn more about Fortescue and available positions, visit here.