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Lithium-Ion Battery Plant Opening In Livonia

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Massachusetts-based A123 Systems will formally open its new lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Livonia Monday.

More than 300 employees are already at work at the plant, manufacturing automotive battery cells and packs, and the company says it plans to hire “thousands” more.

The battery packs will be sold in North America, Europe and Asia.

Attending the grand opening will be A123 president and CEO David Vieau, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Michigan Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow. Also attending will be other governemnt representatives, executives from the auto industry and suppliers.

The event begins with breakfast at 7 a.m. and the formal program from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. The plant is at 39000 Seven Mile Road.

A123 Systems develops and manufactures advanced lithium ion batteries and systems for electric and hybrid vehicles.

The opening of the Livonia factory comes just over one year after A123 Systems received a $249 million grant from the United States Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the federal stimulus.

A123 also collaborated with the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and received $238 million in state incentives from Michigan as part of its 21st Century Jobs Fund to help finance manufacturing operations in the Detroit area. A123 will also open a battery coating plant in Romulus in 2011.

A123 Systems says it has hired more than 250 skilled workers at its Livonia operations so far, bringing its total work force in Michigan to more than 300 employees, and plans to create thousands more jobs in Michigan over the next several years.

The new 291,000-square-foot plant in Livonia will focus on manufacturing prismatic cells and systems, and is designed to enable the complete production process, including research and development, manufacturing of high-value components, cell fabrication, module fabrication and the final assembly of complete battery packs for vehicle integration.

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