Jan 26, 2024

Today the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced that the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) has approved support and incentives for Fortescue, a global green energy, metals, and technology company, to establish a U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center in Detroit, Michigan.

As Fortescue first announced in front of world leaders at APEC last year, the Piquette Avenue facility will become a major hub for Fortescue’s production of automotive and heavy industry batteries, fast chargers, and electrolyzers.

Fortescue plans to rehabilitate the existing facility in Detroit and prepare it for a future manufacturing and engineering workspace. Production is expected to commence in 2025 and the site has the potential to create up to 600 jobs as product lines ramp up to 2030.

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,” Mr Hutchinson said. Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, said, “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,” Governor Whitmer said.

To support the project, the Michigan Strategic Fund today approved:

  • 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.

The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is supporting the project through the local portion of the brownfield work plan valued at $4,246,411, and the city has offered an Industrial Facilities Tax abatement valued at up to $7,684,208.

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,” Ms Judson said.

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.”

The new Fortescue site was originally constructed in 1920 as Fisher Body 23 and has 410,000 sqft of space, over six floors on 14 acres.

Fortescue through Fortescue WAE is a leader in the development and manufacture of batteries and zero emission powertrains for a wide range of applications, including motorsports, mining haul trucks, and other off-road and automotive applications, with production and manufacturing already based in the United Kingdom. Fortescue is also manufacturing electrolyzers at a state-of-the-art facility in Queensland, Australia.

MEDC CEO and President and Chair of the MSF Quentin L. Messer, Jr. said, “as a leader in green technology, clean energy and advanced manufacturing, we are thrilled that Fortescue has chosen Michigan as the site of its new U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center.”

“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,” Mr Messer said.

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