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Greenville Business Magazine

Redwood Materials, Gov. McMaster Make Largest Economic Development Announcement In State History

Dec 14, 2022 10:36AM ● By David Dykes

Redwood Materials, a producer of anode and cathode battery components for electric vehicles, along with Gov. Henry McMaster, announced Wednesday 12/14/2022 plans to establish operations in Berkeley County. 

The company’s $3.5 billion investment, which marks the largest economic development announcement in the history of South Carolina, will create 1,500 jobs, according to the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

“Redwood Materials’ record-breaking announcement shows that our state’s strategic plan to remain a top destination for automobile manufacturers and their suppliers as the industry innovates is working,” McMaster said. “This $3.5 billion investment, and the 1,500 jobs it will create in Berkeley County, is a transformative accomplishment that can only be attributed to the strong, talented, hardworking South Carolinians who make our state as great as it is.”

Headquartered in Carson City, Nev., and founded by Tesla’s former Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder JB Straubel, Redwood Materials will use its South Carolina campus to create a circular supply chain for electric vehicles, Commerce officials said. 

To do so, the company will onshore production of the most critical components in batteries – the anode and cathode – to drive down costs and emissions while securing the supply chain within the United States, the officials said.. 

All battery components will be built from as much recycled material as possible. The more than 600-acre campus, located at Camp Hall Commerce Park in Ridgeville, will initially produce enough anode and cathode material for 100 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery cell production or 1 million electric vehicles each year.

“South Carolina’s commitment to creating a secure energy future and a competitive landscape for electric vehicle manufacturing, supported by a world-class workforce, fast and efficient logistics, zero-carbon electricity and a phenomenal site made it a smart decision for Redwood to invest here," Straubel said.

He said Redwood’s South Carolina Battery Materials Campus will recycle, refine and remanufacture anode and cathode components "allowing us to support our current and future customers in the heart of America's battery belt." 

He added, "We're ready to support this region and U.S. electrification by driving down battery costs, emissions, and reducing reliance on foreign supply chains.” 

Currently, nearly 100 percent of the components required for electric vehicle batteries are manufactured overseas, Commerce officials said.

Redwood Materials works to recover more than 95 percent of the critical minerals and rare earth elements from batteries, like nickel, cobalt, lithium, and copper, and then reintroduce those materials into the supply chain through the anode and cathode materials it produces for U.S. battery manufacturers.

Redwood Materials works with multiple partners that have existing operations across the U.S., such as Volvo, Envision AESC, Proterra, Panasonic, Volkswagen and Audi, for reclaiming and recycling end-of-life batteries and production scrap to produce battery components.

Operations will begin in 2023.

Those interested in working for Redwood Materials may apply by going to the company’s website.

After the Joint Bond Review Committee recommended approval, the State Fiscal Accountability Authority authorized the issuance of General Obligation State Economic Development Bonds not exceeding $226 million, and notes in anticipation to offset the cost of acquiring the site, site improvements, related infrastructure and bond issuance costs.

The state's Coordinating Council for Economic Development also awarded job development credits related to the project.