Aluminum maker Gränges of Sweden on Monday officially broke ground on an expansion of its Newport facility, a project that aims to help the company meet growing demand for cathode foil used in electric vehicle batteries.
The expansion includes a clean room necessary for battery cathode foil production, along with new equipment. It's expected to create 43 jobs.
Gränges plans to start production in the first quarter of 2024. The company said the project makes them the first in the U.S. to invest in battery cathode foil production, positioning Gränges to lead in a "new high-growth industry."
The company did not disclose the estimated cost of the project, citing a need to keep the price tag confidential, for now.
The project follows a $26 million expansion in 2018. Gränges acquired the Newport facility in 2016 through the purchase of Noranda Aluminum.
"Gränges revitalized a practically abandoned plant and brought high paying, quality jobs back to our community," Newport Mayor David Stewart said in a statement. "We are so glad they chose Newport for this expansion."
The project qualified for the following state incentives: Advantage Arkansas, which provides state income tax credit for job creation based on the number of new employees hired as a result of the project; Tax Back, which provides sales tax refunds on building materials, taxable machinery, and equipment associated with the project; and $645,000 in community development block grants.
"Gränges is a great example of how foreign direct investment improves economic conditions for Arkansas communities, but also how our state’s business climate improves the bottom line for the international companies who choose to locate here," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.