South Carolina Approves $9M Grant for Lithium Hydroxide Facility
Written by T.A. DeFeo, The Center Square
Published March 28, 2023
The South Carolina Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a $9 million Rural Infrastructure Fund grant for Chester County.
The money will help the county cover infrastructure improvements, mitigation costs and site preparation related to Albemarle Corp.’s plan to build a "Mega-Flex" lithium hydroxide processing facility near Richburg, SC.
The council also awarded job development credits for this project.
A South Carolina Department of Commerce spokesman previously told The Center Square the value of JDCs depends on the wage rate paid to employees and the tier ranking of the county. Since the credits are performance-based, a company may not collect them until they have reached their investment and job creation requirements.
Charlotte, NC-based Albemarle plans to spend at least $1.3 billion on the facility, supporting the increasing demand for EVs and energy storage applications using lithium-ion batteries. According to a news release, the company will create more than 300 jobs.
Construction of the facility, located on nearly 800 acres, is expected to begin in 2024. The new facility is expected to produce roughly 50,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide per year, potentially reaching up to 100,000 metric tons.
In a statement, Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, said the announcement "further proves South Carolina is one of the best places in the country for electric vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers to call home."
Separately, the Coordinating Council for Economic Development awarded Spartanburg County a $400,000 Set-Aside grant to help pay for building improvements related to a TIME Bicycles project. The company plans to spend $6.5 million to establish its first South Carolina operations.
The company plans to create 105 new jobs. The agency also approved job development credits related to this project.
The company plans to renovate a 140,000-square-foot factory in Landrum, where it plans to produce carbon fiber bicycles. Renovations are expected to start in April, and operations should begin by the end of the year.