FED AUDIT REVEALS TAX-PAYER BACKED BATTERY FACTORY HASN’T PRODUCED OR SOLD A SINGLE BATTERY SINCE AWARDED FED GRANT IN 2009
– Becket Adams
A taxpayer-backed battery plant in Holland, Mich., made headlines last year after it was discovered its employees were being paid to do nothing.
Now LG Chem Michigan Inc., a subsidiary of South Korea’s LG Group, is back in the news after it was revealed Wednesday that it has not produced or sold a single battery since being awarded a $150 million federal grant in 2009, according to a new report by the Energy Department’s Inspector General.
Not a single one.
“LG Chem Michigan … [is] likely to miss the grant’s May 2013 deadline for completion,” Nextgov reports. “What’s more, the project created fewer than half of the projected 440 new jobs anticipated by proponents.”
One of the reasons LG Chem Michigan hasn’t had any success in sales is because it was created with the idea of supplying GM with batteries for what ended up being a unpopular vehicle: The Chevy Volt. Also, GM long ago decided to purchase its battery cells from LG Chem’s facilitates in South Korea instead of the one based Michigan.
The plant was also awarded more than $175 million in state and local tax relief.
LG Chem Michigan used large portions of its federal grant to pay employees who, in turn, watched movies and played cards because there was no work to be done. For more of the article go here.