Forge Nano, Inc. will launch a new lithium-ion battery manufacturing company in North Carolina. The newly formed company, dubbed Forge Battery, will produce high-energy and high-power lithium-ion battery cells for defense, aerospace, and specialty electric vehicle markets at a newly constructed Gigafactory in Morrisville, NC. Forge Battery plans to use a U.S-focused battery material supply chain to further bolster the domestic battery ecosystem and reduce reliance on foreign suppliers.
The company and its investors will make an initial investment of more than $165 million to build the new lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility, which will bring hundreds of jobs to Wake County. Forge Battery expects the facility to be operational in 2026.
“Lithium-ion cells utilizing Forge Nano’s Atomic Armor technology have exceeded our customer’s expectations, and in turn, increased demand for the technology that outstrips the current manufacturing capabilities,” said Paul Lichty, CEO of Forge Nano. “We are extremely excited to launch Forge Battery in Morrisville, where we intend to produce batteries for the world’s most demanding applications, while showcasing the power of Forge Nano’s ALD coating tools in a large manufacturing environment.”
Colorado-based Forge Nano improves the performance of materials used in batteries by applying specialized, atomic-scale coatings using proprietary industrial manufacturing equipment. This Atomic Armor technology offers manufacturers protective nano-coating that can increase the battery’s energy density, improve safety, and extend the useable lifetime.
State And Local Support
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s support for the company during its site evaluation and decision-making process. Although wages will vary depending on the position, the payroll impact for the project is expected to be more than $16 million each year
“Innovation is the heartbeat of the clean energy revolution we’re seeing today,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “I’m pleased an innovative company like Forge Battery has seen and appreciated North Carolina’s many competitive advantages for battery manufacturers, and I know they’ll find both the engineers and operational workers here that will spell success for their company.”
Forge Battery’s North Carolina facility will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee. The JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement of up to $1.5 million, spread over 12 years. Forge Battery also expects to receive an additional $6.5 million from the state of North Carolina based on its current investment projections, which include sales tax exemptions on planned capital investment.
“North Carolina’s growing leadership in clean energy can be seen everywhere you look, and Forge Battery’s decision continues our momentum,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “New jobs, new investment, and new opportunities for our people are coming fast as we embrace this vital new sector of the global economy.”
The company selected a site in CaMP Morrisville, a purpose-built cGMP facility designed to support life science and advanced manufacturing operations. The building was developed by Creative Manufacturing Properties (CMP).
“The Forge Battery team has built a tremendous business and is well-positioned to continue its growth in the battery space,” said Chris Brewer of Creative Manufacturing Properties. “CMP is glad to be able to support Forge’s expansion. Our facility and the broader community stand to benefit long-term from Forge Nano’s presence in the region.”
The site falls within one of Wake County’s targeted growth areas, communities that have not historically benefited from our region’s growth. These communities were identified by using an index provided by the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey that measures poverty, unemployment, demographics, housing, and education.
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“Wake County is known worldwide as a hub for tech, biotech and advanced manufacturing,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Shinica Thomas. “Companies like Forge Battery want to grow here, because we have incredible partnerships between the public and private sectors that enable us to work better together. We also offer their employees excellent public schools, top-notch medical care and a quality of life that is second to none.”
By choosing a site in Wake County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, Forge Battery’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving $508,500 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. This fund helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business.
Forge Battery and local North Carolina officials are planning a groundbreaking event in the first half of 2024.