Michigan Wins New Advanced Manufacturing Center from Global Green Energy, Metals, & Technology Company Fortescue

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Company selects site in Detroit for U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center, underscoring Michigan’s leadership in EV and future mobility, strength of state’s talented workforce

LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that Fortescue, a global provider of zero emission resources for the production of renewable energy, plans to establish its U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center on Piquette Avenue in the city of Detroit with support from the Michigan Strategic Fund. 

“By choosing Michigan for its first U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center, Fortescue will create up to 600 jobs and build on our economic momentum,” said Governor Whitmer. “Report after report shows that Michigan is leading the future of advanced manufacturing and clean energy. Fortescue’s expansion in Michigan and so many of the other investments we are competing for and winning are helping us make communities across our state better places to live, work, and invest. Let’s keep our foot on the accelerator and keep delivering on the issues that make a real difference in people’s lives so anyone can ‘make it’ in Michigan.” 


Fortescue expects to create up to 600 manufacturing and engineering jobs in Michigan that support the state’s work to position itself as the global leader in the future of mobility and vehicle electrification. The Piquette Avenue facility will become a major hub for Fortescue’s production of automotive and heavy industry batteries, hydrogen generators, fast chargers, and electrolyzers.  

“Fortescue’s Advanced Manufacturing Center will breathe fresh life into the birthplace of the automotive industry,” said Fortescue Energy CEO Mark Hutchinson. “We are committed to investing in the next generation of green manufacturing projects that will help decarbonize business and heavy industry, and in turn create a strong future for manufacturing jobs in the United States.” 

Fortescue plans to rehabilitate the existing facility in Detroit and prepare it for a future manufacturing and engineering workspace, where it will manufacture EV battery systems. The first battery line is anticipated to be installed during the first half of 2025. The company plans to develop a comprehensive North American supply base that will provide Michigan suppliers with the opportunity to grow across multiple green energy industries.  

The production in the facility will initially be focused on customers across North America, with high potential for international sales based on expected economic and technical competitiveness, along with international customer requirements. The project will result in an initial $35 million investment in the Piquette Avenue facility to refurbish and construct the Advanced Manufacturing Center. There will also be further significant investments upon full activation of the entire facility. The project has the potential to create up to 600 manufacturing and engineering jobs as product lines ramp up to 2030.  

To support the project, the Michigan Strategic Fund today approved: 

  • A $9 million Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant;
  • A 15-year, 100 percent State Essential Services Assessment exemption valued at $1,300,950;
  • State tax capture valued at $2,374,413 for the reimbursement of brownfield activities at the site.

In addition, the project is requesting $5,247,422 in TIF from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to assist with environmental eligible activities. 

Fortescue is a global green energy, metals and technology company, which is leading the world in finding the solutions to eliminate emissions from heavy industry. The creation of the company’s first U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center in Detroit is a direct impact of the manufacturing know-how and skilled talent Michigan provides. 

Fortescue evaluated 99 competing sites in 12 states before ultimately choosing Michigan, citing the state’s strong automotive OEM and auto supplier presence and the strength of Michigan’s automotive engineering talent. The company plans to hire its workers from the City of Detroit and surrounding community, and will work with local organizations to train, support, and employ a world-class workforce. 

The project supports the state’s work to position itself as the global leader in future mobility and electric vehicle manufacturing and builds on Michigan’s leadership in advanced manufacturing and clean energy. It will also reactivate an existing, vacant property and contaminated brownfield site, and will create the potential for future investment and growth by the company in the state. 

“Detroit is an extremely attractive place to manufacture, given the skilled workforce, existing EV and clean energy supply chains, and strong support from state and local government,” said Fortescue WAE CEO Judith Judson. “Fortescue is committed to being a valued government and community partner and working alongside the people of Detroit.”  

“Fortescue’s decision to locate in Detroit to develop its new Advanced Manufacturing Center adds to our city’s momentum in attracting sustainability and clean energy investments and the good-paying jobs they bring,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “It also is another major piece of the revitalization taking place on this stretch of Piquette Street, along with the redevelopment of the Fisher Body 21 and Studebaker plants into hundreds of units of new mixed-income housing. We are grateful to the Michigan Strategic Fund for its support of this project.” 

The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is supporting the project through the local portion of the brownfield work plan valued at $4,246,411, and the city has offered an Industrial Facilities Tax abatement valued at up to $7,684,208. Information on careers with Fortescue can be found here. 

“As a leader in green technology, clean energy and advanced manufacturing, we are thrilled that Fortescue has chosen Michigan as the site of its new U.S. Advanced Manufacturing Center,” said MEDC CEO and President and Chair of the MSF Quentin L. Messer, Jr. “After a competitive process, Fortescue’s decision is another proof point that ‘Make It In Michigan,’ focused on People, Places and Projects, is delivering results. 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.” 


Local and legislative voices in support of the USA Fortescue Piquette project: 

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

“We're excited to welcome Fortescue to Detroit,” said Detroit Economic Growth Corporation President and CEO Kevin Johnson. “This investment is a perfect match for our mission – it’ll turn an empty facility into a center for clean energy innovation and create hundreds of green manufacturing jobs. The DEGC looks forward to collaborating on workforce training programs that open career pathways for Detroit residents. We thank Fortescue for helping to propel Detroit as a global leader in electrification and clean energy.” 



“We are proud Fortescue has chosen the Motor City for their new Advanced Manufacturing Center and we look forward to powering their operations,” said Tony Tomczak, vice president, Electric Sales & Marketing, DTE Energy. “DTE Energy and Fortescue are on a shared journey to provide clean energy to our customers along with being a clean energy manufacturing hub. Fortescue’s focus on advanced batteries, fast chargers and other emerging renewable technologies fits perfectly with the growing green economy and electric vehicle transformation that is powering jobs across our state.”  


Detroit Regional Partnership

“It’s no coincidence that the world is looking to Detroit and Michigan to provide the path to a carbon-free, clean-energy future,” said Maureen Donohue Krauss, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership. “Major global players like Fortescue continue to recognize our mobility ecosystem as the premier place to develop and scale cutting-edge advanced mobility and clean energy technology. We applaud the MEDC, DTE Energy, DEGC, and the numerous partners who helped bring this major investment to our region.” 

“Fortescue will bring new jobs to Detroit while taking steps to combat the ongoing climate crisis by building electric vehicle components, said state Senator Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit). “Fortescue is a great example of how Detroit and Michigan as a whole can grow and build a healthier future for our people and our environment while growing our economy at the same time." 

“This is a great win for our district, our residents, and the state, said state Representative Mike McFall (D-Hazel Park). “By building on Detroit’s rich auto manufacturing history, Fortescue will drive economic and advanced career development in the city. This project by Fortescue reinforces that Detroiters have the skills to be global leaders in the EV manufacturing and engineering fields.” 


About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.