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Durbin lets the possible Samsung plant cat out of the bag

Friday, Aug 13, 2021

* WGLT

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Thursday that Normal is a finalist for a new Samsung battery manufacturing plant that could add thousands of jobs adjacent to Rivian’s facility and cement central Illinois as a Midwestern electric vehicle hub.

Rumors about a potential massive economic development project have swirled in Bloomington-Normal for the past week. Economic Development Council chief Patrick Hoban teased the project Aug. 5 during an event at Illinois Wesleyan, as WGLT first reported. He didn’t specify which industry or company was involved, but said a potential “billion-dollar deal” was possible, and that Bloomington-Normal was one of three finalists for the project. […]

“We’re competing for a major Samsung battery facility,” Durbin said. “The delegation came from (South) Korea this week. I spoke to them, and others did as well. This Samsung facility, we hope, would be located next door to Rivian. That decision has not been made. Having that battery facility will also create thousands of jobs.”

State Rep. Dan Brady, a Bloomington Republican, told WGLT on Thursday that he’s heard the Samsung plant will employ up to 3,200 people.

Sen. Durbin might’ve been better off keeping his mouth shut, but whatever. Too late now.

* DCEO’s Lauren Huffman had a purposefully vague response to my query, likely to not upset the company…

The Pritzker administration is bullish about building a clean energy future for Illinois – and part of that is making a concerted effort to boost electric vehicle and supplier manufacturing here in Illinois. We remain in regular conversation with a number of companies in this space but it is against our policy to comment on any specifics.

* Reuters

Last month, Reuters reported that Samsung SDI, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS), may build a battery cell plant in the United States. Reuters also reported that Samsung SDI has been in talks to supply batteries manufactured at a potential U.S. factory with electric vehicle makers including Stellantis (STLA.MI) and Rivian, which is backed by Amazon (AMZN.O) and Ford Motor Co (F.N). read more

The South Korean battery maker is considering investing at least 3 trillion won ($2.62 billion) to manufacture batteries for Stellantis and a minimum of 1 trillion won for batteries to Rivian, according to the source.

The source added that Samsung SDI has not yet decided whether to launch the U.S. plant as a joint venture with carmakers, or as an independent manufacturing site.

Samsung SDI officials have been making business trips to Detroit recently to discuss battery supply issues with Stellantis, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

11 Comments
  1. - truthteller - Friday, Aug 13, 21 @ 11:59 am:

    Caterpillar in Decatur won’t like this much as they under pay their assemblers and welders by a huge factor where many make $14-416/hr. They will have lots of poaching of their work force.


  2. - Flying Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Friday, Aug 13, 21 @ 12:02 pm:

    Something about chickens before they hatch.

    Pols just can’t help themselves.


  3. - jimbo26 - Friday, Aug 13, 21 @ 12:05 pm:

    Durbin needs to learn to keep his mouth shut.


  4. - NIU Grad - Friday, Aug 13, 21 @ 12:22 pm:

    Rumors are circling and Durbin needed to rush in before someone else could take credit. Well played, Senator…


  5. - Rudy’s teeth - Friday, Aug 13, 21 @ 12:23 pm:

    Let’s not get too excited about this tentative project in Illinois. Our neighbors to the north and Foxconn did not pan out as expected. A cautious tale.


  6. - Good Gravy - Friday, Aug 13, 21 @ 12:38 pm:

    Expectations are now set. Anything short of landing that plant is now a disappointment.


  7. - Cool Papa Bell - Friday, Aug 13, 21 @ 12:54 pm:

    I found it a little odd that Rivian wouldn’t buid there second plant in Illinois. I think someone needs to work hard to land that project in the Metro East. The STL region has a history in automotive production and a big job creator in Bellville would be excellent for the region.

    Hope it comes to BLNO and then maybe a supplier would consider coming to Springfield and build a new workforce base here.


  8. - Anon221 - Friday, Aug 13, 21 @ 1:21 pm:

    Rivian is also looking at Texas for that $5 Billion dollar expansion. Makes me wonder how long the Normal plant will really be a solid part of Rivian, as Scaringe has a history of state hopping. https://www.reuters.com/technology/rivian-considers-5-billion-ev-plant-texas-document-shows-2021-08-11/

    If Rivian decides to expand there, Samsung might just follow along since there are already other EV manufacturers setting up shop in Texas as well. https://www.electrive.com/2021/07/14/samsung-sdi-and-lg-es-complete-4680-cell-development/


  9. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Aug 13, 21 @ 1:43 pm:

    @Truthteller - I have heard Cat’s facilities around Peoria are already dealing with losing folks to Rivian.

    Hopefully Heartland’s new electric vehicle program and ISU’s new engineering program can put a lot of people to work at these plants in Central Illinois.


  10. - irony is fun - Friday, Aug 13, 21 @ 2:21 pm:

    I am just saying - Durbin is one of the least popular politicians for a reason. He may have juice in DC, but he has bupkis in Illinois. The fact he tried to ruin this for the State is a narcissistic move.


  11. - JoanP - Friday, Aug 13, 21 @ 3:20 pm:

    = Durbin is one of the least popular politicians for a reason. He may have juice in DC, but he has bupkis in Illinois. =

    I’m not the world’s greatest Durbin fan, but last election he had nearly 55% of the vote compared to the Republican’s just under 39%. Some bupkis.


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