(The Center Square) — LG Energy Solution and Hyundai Motor Group plan to jointly build a $4.3 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Georgia, an investment U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Georgia, said was possible because of incentives included in the Inflation Reduction Act.
However, a spokesman for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp disputed that assertion saying it’s part of a previously announced investment that predates the federal legislation.
The companies will each hold a 50% stake in the joint venture plant, which they plan to build in Bryan County next to the Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, currently under construction. Ossoff said the project should create 3,000 "good paying" jobs; full-scale production is expected to start by the end of 2025.
However, it is unclear how much the new project incentives will cost taxpayers.
"It is our responsibility to be judicious stewards of public resources," Ossoff said during Friday’s call in response to a question from The Center Square about the incentives and how the country can justify the continued spending considering the nation’s burgeoning debt.
"Upgrading our infrastructure and attracting manufacturing to the United States to ensure we have industrial capacity — that’s crucial for job creation, for national security, for energy security — are good purposes for public investment," the senator added. "And we see through what’s happening in Georgia, whether it’s the dramatic expansion of solar manufacturing, or now, the announcement of a major electric vehicle battery production facility, that these incentives are, indeed, attracting jobs and investment to the Peach State, and other states across the country are also benefiting."
On Friday morning, Ossoff said the joint venture between LG and Hyundai was codified in the last 48 hours. A Kemp spokesman told The Center Square Friday’s news is not a new investment but is a part of the $5.5 billion Hyundai Motor Group announced in May 2022 before Congress passed the IRA measure.
President Joe Biden signed the IRA on August 16, 2022. An Ossoff spokesman did not respond to a request to clarify the discrepancy.
"We’re thankful to see this latest investment as a result of the strong partnerships carefully built on the state level with Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Group as they deliver positive news for the Peach State," Kemp, a Republican, said in a statement. "This is exactly what we envisioned when Georgia landed the Hyundai Metaplant in May of last year, and this project is the latest milestone in Georgia’s path to becoming the EV capital of the nation."
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