Fortescue's Green Revolution: Detroit's Industrial Renaissance

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Synopsis:

Fortescue, a global green energy and metals powerhouse, is set to revolutionize Detroit's industrial landscape. With Michigan's support, Fortescue will establish a U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center, specializing in automotive and heavy industry batteries, chargers, and electrolyzers. The Piquette Avenue facility, slated to create up to 600 jobs by 2030, underscores Fortescue's commitment to green manufacturing. The Michigan Strategic Fund's incentives, including a $9 million grant and tax exemptions, solidify the partnership. Fortescue's move aligns with Michigan's clean energy leadership, attracting sustainable investments and reinforcing Detroit's resurgence.

Article:

In a transformative move, Fortescue, a global leader in green energy, metals, and technology, is set to breathe new life into Detroit's industrial heritage. The Michigan Strategic Fund's recent approval of support and incentives marks a significant stride for Fortescue's U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center in Detroit, Michigan. This endeavor, unfolding at the historic Piquette Avenue facility, signals a major shift toward green manufacturing in the birthplace of the automotive industry.

Fortescue, as announced at APEC last year, envisions the Piquette Avenue site as a pivotal hub for producing automotive and heavy industry batteries, fast chargers, and electrolyzers. The rehabilitation of the existing facility is slated to commence in 2025, with production anticipated to begin in the same year. The project has the potential to generate up to 600 jobs as product lines ramp up until 2030.

Mark Hutchinson, Fortescue Energy CEO, expresses commitment to investing in the next generation of green manufacturing projects. The Advanced Manufacturing Center aligns with Fortescue's vision to decarbonize business and heavy industry, fostering a robust future for manufacturing jobs in the United States. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer applauds Fortescue's decision, emphasizing its contribution to job creation and economic momentum in the state.

To support this transformative project, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved a $9 million Michigan Business Development Program grant, a 15-year, 100 percent State Essential Services Assessment exemption, and state tax capture for brownfield activities reimbursement. The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and the city itself contribute significantly to the project through local brownfield work plans and tax abatements.

Fortescue WAE CEO, Judith Judson, highlights Detroit's appeal for manufacturing, citing a skilled workforce, existing EV and green energy supply chains, and robust support from state and local governments. Mayor of Detroit, Mike Duggan, welcomes Fortescue's Advanced Manufacturing Center, recognizing its role in Detroit's sustainability and clean energy investments, contributing to the city's revitalization.

The chosen site, originally constructed in 1920 as Fisher Body 23, spans 410,000 sqft over six floors on 14 acres. Fortescue, through its subsidiary Fortescue WAE, stands at the forefront of battery and zero-emission powertrain development. With production bases in the United Kingdom and Australia, Fortescue is a key player in cleantech innovation globally.

In the words of Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO and President of MEDC and Chair of the MSF, Fortescue's choice of Michigan for its Advanced Manufacturing Center validates the state's leadership in green technology and advanced manufacturing. The project is a testament to Michigan's commitment to a greener future, fostering cleantech innovation and contributing to global sustainability.

Conclusion:

Fortescue's commitment to establishing a cutting-edge U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center in Detroit signifies a pivotal moment in the city's industrial history. The project not only aligns with Fortescue's vision for green manufacturing but also contributes significantly to Detroit's resurgence as a hub for sustainable and clean energy investments. The partnership between Fortescue and Michigan, backed by strategic incentives, positions Detroit at the forefront of cleantech innovation. As the Piquette Avenue facility undergoes revitalization, the potential creation of up to 600 jobs underscores the positive impact on the local economy. Fortescue's move reflects a broader trend toward sustainable practices in the automotive and heavy industry sectors, marking a step toward a greener, job-rich future in Detroit.

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