Major Greensboro-Randolph megasite announcement could mean deal with Toyota

(WGHP) – Toyota and Panasonic’s plans to build an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant on the Greensboro-Randolph megasite could be revealed on Monday.

On Friday evening, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce scheduled a “major economic development announcement” for Monday afternoon by state and megasite officials. The announcement will be at 2 p.m., but the site has not been released. The announcement did not specify the parties involved.

The event will follow a series of meetings on Monday where two government councils will consider incentives that could close the deal for companies to invest more than $ 1 billion to build their facility on more than 1,000 acres near Liberty. .

The Randolph County Council of Commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. and Greensboro City Council at 10 a.m. to consider transfers of ownership, tax cuts and utility charges related to a project on the megasite.

Toyota and Panasonic could open an electric vehicle battery production plant on the megasite near Liberty.

And the North Carolina Department of Commerce Economic Investment Committee will meet by teleconference at 11:00 a.m. Monday.

Toyota Motor North America announced on October 18 that it would build such a plant in the United States to begin production in 2025, starting with batteries for hybrid electric vehicles.

Toyota has said it will invest $ 3.4 billion in the United States through 2030, including an initial $ 1.3 billion plan for a plant that would employ 1,750 people.

Then last month, the NC General Assembly approved $ 338 million for upgrades that could lure a manufacturer into megasite and specified site development and incentives for a company that would invest at least $ 1 billion and would create 1,750 jobs.

Bloomberg News and Automotive News reported that Toyota selected North Carolina, which was second for the Toyota-Mazda manufacturing plant in 2018. Toyota has said it will select its location by the end of the year.

Bloomberg News had included Panasonic as a partner in the ad. Panasonic had long partnered with Tesla on its electric vehicles.

Randolph County Commissioners to take note and vote ostensibly on the transfer of ownership of county property and to grant tax cuts for economic development for a project that matches those specified by the report.

Greensboro will consider a resolution to authorize the non-assessment of the development costs of the water and sewer networks. The city is contracted to provide these services for the megasite.

The army corps will also conclude a public comment period on Monday. regarding its environmental approval of the facility.

The state plans to spend around $ 135 million this fiscal year on site development, $ 100 million on wetland mitigation and $ 35 million on road works and more wetlands. There is $ 185 million to reimburse the manufacturer for the costs of additional site work, road works, and wetland mitigation, as needed.

The loss of megasite to Alabama in 2018 for the Toyota-Mazda plant was largely attributed to Toyota building its supply chain there.

But John Boyd Jr., director of The Boyd Company, a New Jersey-based site selection company that works heavily in the electronic vehicle segment and North Carolina, told WGHP last week that he “doesn’t would not be at all surprised for North Carolina. to get this trophy project.

“Unlike previous failures [by North Carolina], the electric vehicle industry requires only a small fraction of the supply of parts that go into a fuel engine, ”Boyd said. “The supply chain is not as critical as it is during these near misses.”

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