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  • Board approves agreement with ‘gigafactory’ battery company to build $1 billion facility near Raytheon

    Dec 06, 2022 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Board of Supervisors Dec. 6 unanimously approved a lease-purchase agreement with American Battery Factory to build a $1 billion battery manufacturing facility south of Raytheon in the County’s Aerospace Research Campus. The company expects to employ more than 1,000 people once the facility is fully constructed and operating.

    The Utah-based Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery cell manufacturer will purchase 267 acres in the ARC to construct the modern manufacturing facility.

    “Today’s decision by the Board is another significant return on investment made by the County and taxpayers 10 years ago when the Board took positive steps to acquire the Aerospace Research Campus,” Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bronson said. “American Battery is exactly the type of high-wage employer we hoped to attract. I welcome them to Pima County and wish them many years of success.”

    American Battery officials said they expect to complete construction by 2026. The company initially plans to employ 60 workers with annual workforce expansions planned through 2028, and a total workforce of 1,000.

    The average estimated annual salary the company plans to pay will be $65,000. American Battery also plans to invest $1.2 billion to construct and equip the manufacturing facility. The economic impact will be approximately $3 billion over 10 years.

    The facility will support the battery industry, and other industries using semiconductors. This includes EV batteries, commercial use batteries, and retail use batteries. The company’s high-performance batteries are built to be safe, longest-lasting, reliable, and eco-friendly. Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) batteries are similar to other lithium ion batteries but are typically more environmentally sound because they do not contain nickel or cobalt, the supply chains for which are heavily reliant on extractive industries.

    “American Battery choosing Pima County is a wonderful example of the coalescence of strategic infrastructure investment, long-term policy vision of the Board of Supervisors, the hard work of staff, and regional cooperation,” said Heath Vescovi-Chiordi, the County Economic Development Director. “American Battery represents a significant investment in a target industry area that has the potential to not only create hundreds of jobs in that key sector, but also to act as a regional attraction for complementary industry companies to the County. We are truly happy to welcome them to the Aerospace Research Campus and to Pima County.”

    Pima County acquired the 500-acre Aerospace Research Campus in 2012 as part of a regional effort to remove barriers to Raytheon Missile Systems expanding. The land acquisition allowed for the relocation of a road – renamed Aerospace Parkway – away from Raytheon, to create a federally required safety buffer for the defense contractor, which is the largest private employer in the County. The County has made the site “shovel ready” in that it has upgraded power, water, sewer, and internet utilities and an access road making it ready for development.