Panasonic snubs Oklahoma over Tesla battery plant deal

FILE - Panasonic
FILE - Panasonic(MGN)
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 4:15 PM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KSWO) - Panasonic announced it will reportedly be building a new battery manufacturing plant in Kansas, instead of Oklahoma, even after Governor Kevin Stitt worked to approve legislation to allegedly draw the company in.

The factory will now be built at Pryor’s Mid-America Industrial Park in Kansas, once Kansas state officials sign off on the plan later today.

The Japanese electronics company plans to invest several billion dollars constructing a high-tech electric vehicle battery factory, which will supply new high-capacity batteries for the Tesla factory in Texas.

Oklahoma officials had worked diligently to try and recruit the company, including a $698 million incentive package signed by Governor Stitt in April reportedly aimed at bringing the Panasonic plant to Oklahoma.

“Project Ocean” would have qualified the company for an annual rebate of 3.4% on qualified capital expenditures for up to five years.

However, to qualify, the company would have had to invest almost $4 billion into the state, and also meet an annual hiring quota.

This is the third high-profile recruitment loss in Oklahoma in the last few years, which included a Saab plant, designed to build a new U.S Air Force training jet, which eventually passed over the state for Indiana.

The money set aside by the Oklahoma officials for the project will now revert back to the state’s general fund, once Panasonic’s plans are signed off by Kansas officials.

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