City of Jacksonville


MAYOR PROPOSES LEGISLATION TO ATTRACT NEARLY 300 JOBS TO CECIL COMMERCE CENTERSaft America, Inc. awarded federal grant to build LEED-certified manufacturing facility

August 06, 2009
At the request of Mayor John Peyton, legislation was filed today for consideration by the Jacksonville City Council for a proposed incentive agreement for Saft America Inc. to build its lithium-ion battery facility at Cecil Commerce Center. Saft America, Inc., a world leader in the design and manufacture of high-technology batteries, was awarded a $95.5 million federal grant to construct a LEED-certified factory of the future that will produce lithium ion batteries. President Obama announced this grant today as part of his $2.4 billion in grant allocation to accelerate the manufacturing and deployment of U.S. batteries and electric vehicles.

Saft previously indicated their intent to build a factory in Jacksonville contingent upon the successful negotiations relating to available state and local incentive programs for capital investment and job creation. The public investment programs proposed are critical to the company's site location decision-making process to ensure economic viability of the program, make Jacksonville competitive with packages being offered by the other locations and help off-set the costs of establishing a manufacturing plant in Jacksonville. Other locations being evaluated for this project include sites in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Ohio.

The project would add 279 new, full-time jobs to the local market at an average wage of $44,807, more than 115 percent of the state average wage. In addition, Saft would invest approximately $122 million in new, private capital for facility construction, manufacturing equipment, furniture, fixtures and information technology infrastructure.

'The City of Jacksonville looks forward to having Saft America, Inc. as a strong community partner at Cecil and is eager to see their development of lithium-ion cells and batteries that will help address the nation's energy needs,' said Mayor Peyton. 'This truly was a collaborative effort with local, state and federal officials working together to attract this international company to Jacksonville and I greatly appreciate all of the hard work. Council President Richard Clark and I, along with leadership from the Jacksonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, were fortunate to have meetings with Saft officials on a recent trip to France that help further strengthen Jacksonville's position as the ideal location for their battery plant.'

The rechargeable batteries produced by this plant will be used by the U.S. military, aviation industries, civilian industries reliant on continuous power streams such as telecommunications, and within the developing U.S. Smart Grid.

Saft, the parent company of Saft America, Inc., is the world's leading designer, developer and manufacturer of advanced technology batteries for industrial and defense applications.