Five township officials recalled for supporting Gotion's EV battery materials plant in Michigan

Asian Tech Press (Nov 10) -- Five township officials have been removed from office in a community election in Michigan, after voters opposed a plan by Chinese battery giant Gotion High-tech Co. Ltd (002074.SZ) to build a plant there, according to media reports.

The five local officials were supervisor James Chapman, clerk Janet Clark, treasurer Denise MacFarlane and trustees Roger Carroll and Dale Jernstadt of Green Charter Township in Mecosta County.

Last July, the five officials voted 7-0 in favor of the Chinese firm's U.S. subsidiary Gotion Inc. building a plant in Green Charter Township.

The project also has the backing of Michigan officials, including Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and Michigan has approved millions of dollars in financial incentives.

But critics point to the potential environmental impact of building the plant in a rural area about 60 miles (95 kilometers) north of Big Rapids, Michigan's second-largest city.

James Chapman, the removed supervisor of Green Charter Township, had called the project a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity".

Prior to the recall election, Chuck Thelen, Gotion Inc.'s vice president of North American operations, said plans for the plant had been finalized and staff were being recruited.

In Big Rapids Township, near Green Charter Township, Supervisor Bill Stanek, who was also removed from office, supported Gotion's plans to build a plant in the township.

In October last year, the Michigan government said that Gotion would invest in the construction of an EV battery materials plant in the state's Big Rapids, with an investment amount of about $2.364 billion, and the project would create 2,350 jobs.

A Gotion filing for government subsidies shows the plant is scheduled to be operational by 2024, with the entire project divided into four construction phases to be completed by 2031.

The land used for the project would span Big Rapids Township and Green Charter Township in Mecosta County.

Related Topics

You must be login to post a comment.