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A123 Systems Opens North America's Largest Lithium Ion Auto Battery Plant

A123 Systems has opened the largest lithium ion automotive battery plant in North America. The facility, located in Livonia, Michigan, was partly funded by a $249 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"The opening of our Livonia facility is a significant milestone and confirms that we are accomplishing our stated objectives that accompanied the DOE grant. Bringing this factory on line in just over a year is a testament to our technology innovation and strategic plan to ramp up manufacturing, but it also speaks to the maturity of the market-without significant customer demand for our products today, a capacity expansion of this magnitude would not be possible," said David Vieau, president and CEO of A123 Systems.

Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund also kicked in $125 million in state incentives to help fund the project.

The company expects to create thousands of jobs in the Detroit area in the coming years. The 291,000-square-foot plant will produce prismatic cells and systems for the batteries.

A123 is also planning to open a coating plant in Romulus, Michigan, which is expected to be operational during the first half of 2011.

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