Recently, Forge Nano, Inc., a materials science company, announced the launch of a lithium-ion battery manufacturing business called Forge Battery. Forge’s new lithium-ion battery business plans to invest $165 million in a battery cell gigafactory in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Forge Battery’s upcoming gigafactory will be a 210,000 sq. ft. facility that produces high-energy, high-power lithium cells. The company’s cells will be based on Forge Nano’s Atomic Armor technology, which optimizes cells at the atomic level. Forge Battery aims to start production on 18650 and 31700 cells by 2026. It plans to break ground at its North Carolina facility in early 2024.
“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,” says Paul Lichty, CEO of Forge Nano. “We are extremely excited to launch Forge Battery in the Battery Belt, where we intend to produce batteries for the world’s most demanding applications while showcasing the power of Forge Nano’s Atomic Armor coating equipment in a large-scale manufacturing environment.”
Forge Battery wants to utilize a battery material supply chain in the United States to bolster the local battery ecosystem and reduce reliance on foreign suppliers. Forge’s battery business falls perfectly into the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA) goals, which encourage domestic production within North America and countries with free trade agreements with the United States.
Forge Battery’s gigafactory in North Carolina will be facilitated by a Job Development Investment Grand (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee. North Carolina struck a decent deal with Forge Battery. The new lithium-ion factory has a potential reimbursement of up to $1,525,500 over 12 years under the JDIG agreement. The company also expects to receive an additional $6,500,000 from the state based on current investment projections—including sales tax exemptions on capital investment.
The new battery factory is expected to generate hundreds of high-paying jobs in Wake County. The payroll impact for Forge Battery’s factory is estimated to reach over $16 million annually. As stipulated in the JDIG, the new tax revenue generated through Forge Battery’s operation will go toward “economically challenged” communities in North Carolina.