Fortescue has partnered with the State of Michigan, committing to the establishment of a major U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center in Detroit. This initiative, as announced by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), is supported by incentives from the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF).
The Piquette Avenue facility, first unveiled at the APEC summit last year, is poised to become a central hub for Fortescue’s production. It will focus on automotive and heavy industry batteries, fast chargers, and electrolyzers. The rehabilitation of the existing facility is expected to transform it into a state-of-the-art manufacturing and engineering workspace, with production commencing in 2025. This project holds the potential to create up to 600 jobs by 2030.
Fortescue Energy CEO, Mark Hutchinson, emphasized the company’s commitment to green manufacturing, stating, “Fortescue’s Advanced Manufacturing Center will breathe fresh life into the birthplace of the automotive industry.”
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Echoing this sentiment, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer highlighted the job creation and economic momentum this move will bring. “Fortescue’s expansion in Michigan…are helping us make communities across our state better places to live, work, and invest,” Governor Whitmer remarked.
The Michigan Strategic Fund’s support includes a $9 million Michigan Business Development Program grant and other significant financial incentives. The City of Detroit is also backing the project through local brownfield redevelopment support and tax abatements.
Fortescue WAE CEO, Judith Judson, praised Detroit’s skilled workforce and supportive government, noting, “Fortescue is committed to being a valued government and community partner wherever we operate.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan welcomed the decision, linking it to the broader revitalization efforts in the city, particularly on Piquette Street.
The Fortescue site, originally Fisher Body 23, boasts 410,000 sqft of space and is a testament to the city’s rich automotive history. Fortescue, through Fortescue WAE, already has a strong presence in the development and manufacture of batteries and zero-emission powertrains.
MEDC CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr. celebrated Fortescue’s choice of Michigan for its new center, stating, “We are proud that the City of Detroit will be home to cleantech innovation in the electrification of mobility and the development of a greener future for our nation and the globe.”