Officials declined to name the company, but sources close to the situation believe it to be Gotion, a Chinese company which also has announced plans for a factory in Michigan.
Manteno Mayor Tim Nugent said his board and other local taxing bodies approved the abatement earlier this month, after being told by the state and a company agent that the facility will create 2,600 jobs and involve more than $2 billion in investment.
No final decision has been made but, “I’m told we’re on the short list,” Nugent said. “I’m hopeful.”
Manteno is located a little over an hour’s drive from Normal, where Rivian has an electric vehicle plant and has been looking for a battery maker to set up shop nearby.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office declined comment on the project, which is covered by non-disclosure agreements. But sources close to the matter said state and local officials have put a total incentive package worth hundreds of millions of dollars on the table. Most of that would come from a $400 million “deal-closing fund” that state lawmakers have made available to Pritzker.
The Manteno site now is mostly vacant, but includes a warehouse formerly the defunct K-Mart retail chain used for distribution. Under the terms of the abatement deal, property taxes on the land would double to $2 million a year once the site is in operation but then be frozen for 30 years.
The project Manteno is chasing is an additional plant to Gotion’s proposed Michigan factory. The company announced plans last fall to build a $2.4 billion battery parts plant near Big Rapids, Mich., after the state of Michigan offered an incentive package valued at $715 million. The Michigan factory would be a supplier for the prospective battery pack assembly plant in Illinois. The Michigan project has generated controversy because of questions about the company’s ties to the Chinese government.
John Pletz and Kurt Nagl contributed.