Fortescue’s Detroit Venture: Approval Granted for U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center

  • Michigan approves Fortescue’s plan for U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center in Detroit.
  • The project, targeting automotive battery production, gains significant financial support.
  • Governor Whitmer and Mayor Duggan commend the decision for its economic impact and sustainability contributions.

The MEDC approves Fortescue’s plan for a U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has given the green light to Fortescue’s plan to establish a U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center, marking a significant development in Detroit’s industrial landscape. The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) played a crucial role in this approval process. The organisation providing support and incentives for Fortescue, a global player in green energy, metals, and technology.

The project designates the Piquette Avenue facility as a key production hub. It’ll be used for automotive and heavy industry batteries, fast chargers, and electrolyzers. 

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Fortescue Energy CEO, Mark Hutchinson, said: 

“Fortescue’s Advanced Manufacturing Center will breathe fresh life into the birthplace of the automotive industry.

We are committed to investing in the next generation of green manufacturing projects that will help decarbonize business and heavy industry, and in turn create a strong future for manufacturing jobs in the United States.” 

The Detroit facility, formerly Fisher Body 23, dates back to 1920. The facility will become a state-of-the-art manufacturing and engineering workspace. Commencing production in 2025, the venture holds the potential to generate up to 600 jobs by 2030.

Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, commented:

“By choosing Michigan for its first U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center, Fortescue will create up to 600 jobs and build on our economic momentum.

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” 

To sweeten the deal, the MSF approved state tax capture valued at $2,374,413 for brownfield activities reimbursement at the site. The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is also contributing. They’ve allocated $4,246,411 for the local portion of the brownfield work plan. That’s coupled with an Industrial Facilities Tax abatement valued at up to $7,684,208 from the city.

Fortescue WAE CEO, Judith Judson, said: 

“Detroit is an extremely attractive place to manufacture, given the skilled workforce, existing EV and green energy supply chains, and strong support from state and local governments. Fortescue is committed to being a valued government and community partner wherever we operate and look forward to maximizing the benefits alongside the local community in Detroit.”

Mayor of Detroit, Mike Duggan, said: 

“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. 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.”

MEDC CEO and President and Chair of the MSF Quentin L. Messer, Jr. commented: 

“After a competitive process, Fortescue’s decision is another proof point that ‘Make It In Michigan,’ focused on People, Places and Projects, is delivering results. We are proud that the City of Detroit will be home to cleantech innovation in the electrification of mobility and the development of a greener future for our nation and the globe.”

The project is indicative of the major EV transformation that’s underway in North America. The U.S. is embracing emobility, and the development of home-grown EV industries lines up with the urgent need for extended infrastructure and a domestic supply chain.

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