megasite

Berry Hill Mega Park loses out again

A gigantic Ford facility that Governor Glenn Youngkin shot down last month would have been built here in Southside Virginia. 

The Richmond Times-Dispatch this week quoted several Democratic state lawmakers in confirming the would-be location for the $3.5 billion plant as the Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill.

Sources told Southside News Today last month the facility would have produced lithium iron phosphate batteries for Ford’s electric vehicles and employed more than 3,500 workers.

Several members of the Danville Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facilities Authority declined to comment, citing confidentiality pledges that are standard for RIFA members.

The Daily Caller reports Youngkin pulled the incentive package for Ford and China-based Contemporary Amperex Technology. Plans called for Ford to own the factory with CATL in charge of operations.

A source tells the Daily Caller Youngkin had issues with CATL being eligible for American tax benefits under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act.  CATL is closely aligned with the Chinese government.  According to their website, CATL is a Chinese-based battery manufacturer and technology company founded in 2011. They specialize in making lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems

It would have been one of the largest economic development projects in Virginia history. 

Last year, Youngkin blocked Chinese government-linked apps on state devices. The order banned TikTok and WeChat from being used on state cellphones, laptops or other online devices.

The move comes amid widespread speculation that Youngkin is exploring a run for the GOP Presidential nomination. Several state Democrats this week blasted Youngkin for, in their view, putting his national political profile ahead of jobs for rural Virginia. 

More than $200 million has been spent over 15 years to make the Southern Virginia Mega Site at Berry Hill the largest industrial park in the Southeast. Berry Hill finished second to Georgia last year in the battle for a large Hyundai facility.

(2) comments

Pinkney

I think it was a good decision since they are connected to China.

hyperfantastico

What a sad day for Southside Virginia. Our governor, elected with the overwhelming support of Pittsylvania County and surrounding areas, has betrayed their interests. He promised growth, jobs, and economic development. I hope that readers will pause a moment and fantasize about the positive impact that a 3.5 BILLION dollar project supporting thousands of jobs might have had on family income, schools, businesses, public services, and the overall quality of life for the area. Maybe Kentucky, run by a savvy democratic governor, can recruit the Ford plant. Smithfield Foods is now owned by a Chinese company. I guess the governor will be returning the tainted $30,000 they donated to his inaugural committee. Rob in Richmond

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