The number 25 and Elyria share something in common: jobs. BASF has their grand opening of the new 70 story plant that took in excess of $50 million to make.
"This has been such a great day for the city of Elyria," said Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda. "Now to have one of two advanced ion lithium battery manufactures in North America puts Elyria...at the cutting edge of sustainability and green energy."
Brinda is hoping the new plant will attract and bring other like business to the area. One of the key catalysts in getting this done came from new re-elected U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. The senator, who doesn't live to far from the plant, secured $24.6 million from the Department of Energy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"This is the exactly the right kind of model where the federal government helps partner with local communities," Brown said.
BASF will be producing cathodes which go into lithium batteries. Elyria will supply battery companies and in turn supply the auto makers. It boils down to new jobs.
Last year, the city received $213,000 in property taxes from BASF, a company with about 185 employees already with an annual payroll of $17 million.
But will the jobs last, especially since sales for hybrid and electric cars have been up and down?
A123 Lithium Ion Battery filed for bankruptcy in October, even after receiving a grant from the government for $249 million. It's a company that promised to create 38,000 jobs. Brown said there is a major difference between that company and the one in Elyria: hometown cooking.
"This company has a long history," said Brown, noting BASF started production in 1898. "The owner has created a hundred billion dollar company. They can see long-term trends."
Eight of the 25 jobs created by BASF have already been filled. The mayor feels good about the new plant and feels it will be around for a long time.
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