Gov. Nixon, EaglePicher Technologies holds groundbreaking ceremony for new Li-ion battery center

 Gov. Nixon, EaglePicher Technologies holds groundbreaking ceremony for new Li-ion battery center

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon joined officials with EaglePicher Technologies for a groundbreaking ceremony for the company’s new Lithium Ion (li-ion) Center of Excellence.

The 100,000-square-foot plant will be constructed behind an existing EaglePicher plant and will employ at least 170 workers, according to Randy Moore, EaglePicher president.

During the ceremony, Gov. Nixon applauded EaglePicher for its battery development and innovation efforts. Moore said the new plant — scheduled to begin limited operations in 2016 —  will manufacture cutting-edge li-ion batteries that can be utilized by several industry platforms.

In 2011, EaglePicher participated in a Department of Defense sponsored competition to encourage li-ion battery production in the U.S., however, later decided not to advance due to cost-shares involved, a report from the Joplin Globe said.

Moore said at the time it “was beyond our reach because we already had spent $10 million,” referring to the existing building onsite. He added that after support from the the Joplin Chamber of Commerce and Joplin Industrial Development Authority, they were able to continue in the competition. Additionally, EaglePicher’s parent company, The OM Group, covered additional costs.

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