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Granholm to Lead Investment Mission to South Korea

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Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm departs on Wednesday for a three-day investment mission to Seoul, South Korea where she will focus on continuing to grow Michigan’s flourishing advanced battery industry.

“Seventeen of the world’s leading advanced battery companies are now operating in Michigan or soon will be,” Granholm said. “On this investment mission we look to further solidify Michigan’s position as the new global center of the advanced battery and electric vehicle industry.”

During the Nov. 4-6 investment mission, the governor will meet with executives from LG Chem, one of the world’s largest producers of advanced chemicals and a leading supplier of lithium-ion batteries.  LG Chem operates in Michigan as Troy-based Compact Power and serves as a focal point for the research, design, engineering and packaging of lithium-ion batteries for mass production in the automotive and non-automotive sectors.

In 2009, LG Chem announced a $303 million investment in west Michigan where a new battery plant is now under construction in Holland.  Facilitated by a $151.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the 600,000 square-foot facility will be fully operational by 2012, employing up to 400 workers.

Granholm will also meet with executives from SB LiMotive, the lithium-ion battery company that is a joint venture between Samsung and Bosch, and with W-Scope, a firm that provides separator material for the battery industry. SB LiMotive is expected to be a major player in the global automotive battery market and recently purchased Cobasys, a nickel metal hydride battery firm based in Orion Township. During an investment mission to Germany this past April, Granholm met with Bosch officials to urge the Cobasys organization to serve as the launch pad for SB LiMotive’s U.S. operations.  W-Scope would be a key addition to Michigan’s battery supply chain.

This trip to South Korea will be the governor’s 12th and likely final overseas investment mission since 2004. Her previous missions to Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan and Sweden have resulted in 49 companies announcing nearly $2 billion in new investment in Michigan and more than 20,000 new or retained jobs.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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