St. Louis manufacturing facility receives grant to build battery components

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis is taking a leading role in shaping our future. At a livestream event at the White House on Wednesday, President Biden announced the first grants under the infrastructure bill he signed into law in November.

The announcement put a spotlight on a manufacturing facility in St. Louis. The first person called by President and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm was Phillip Brown in St. Louis. Brown is the St. Louis-based Managing Director of Israel Chemicals Limited’s (ICL) North American operations. The Carondelet plant in south St. Louis was once home to Monsanto.

“We’ve been manufacturing here on the Mississippi for over 140 years,” Brown said.

Last year, ICL added a new plant-based meat division. It now receives $197 million out of $2.8 billion in federal infrastructure grants for 20 companies, the president announced. ICL will use its grant to build a new $400 million lithium iron phosphate battery factory on a green space on the Carondelet campus. ICL plans to manufacture components for batteries as demand for electric vehicles (EVs) increases. The goal is to build a full North American supply chain and end dependence on China for batteries and battery components.

The St. Louis facility will create 150 manufacturing jobs and a few dozen science and engineering jobs.

“This material that we’re going to produce, lithium iron phosphate, isn’t being produced in the western world,” Brown said. “This grant truly demonstrates our support to bring energy security to the United States for these new, innovative clean energy technologies.”

Minutes later, Brown repeated those words in response to President Biden.

“How will this facility strengthen our battery supply chain in the United States?” President Brown asked at the event.

“It will really leverage our abundant resources that we have here in North America and the US to develop a secure supply chain that the entire industry can rely on,” Brown said.

“We’re ready. We’ve got a whole group of people ready to go,” he said.

The project is now “accelerated”. In about two years, phase one of the new dough components plant should be operational, while the second and final phase will be operational a year later. St. Louis manufacturing facility receives grant to build battery components

Sarah Y. Kim

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