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Governor Announces the Creation of 139
High-Tech Jobs, Investment of $19 Million

Cobasys and MSC to Expand in Southeast Michigan

Lansing, Michigan, June 15, 2004-- Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today that assistance offered through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will make it possible for two high-tech manufacturers to expand in Orion and Plymouth Townships creating 139 new jobs and $19 million in private investment. Single Business Tax (SBT) credits valued at more than $4.7 million combined convinced Cobasys and Material Sciences Corporation (MSC) to expand operations in Michigan rather than other states.

"These are the types of jobs and investment that we need to continue to attract to Michigan," said Governor Jennifer Granholm. "Our state's economic development incentives and our highly skilled workforce enable Michigan to successfully compete for and win high-tech projects like these."

In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced a focused seven-point plan for making Michigan an economic powerhouse in the 21st century. So far this year, the Governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of approximately 17,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.

These expansions are among six major economic development projects announced today. In all, they are expected to create a total of 1,511 new jobs for Michigan workers.

To accommodate its rapid growth, Cobasys will invest an estimated $1.5 million over the next two years to complete an office building and purchase new equipment as it consolidates three plants currently operating in Troy to a single 70,000-square-foot facility in Orion Township. An SBT credit valued at more than $3.9 million convinced the company to expand in Michigan instead of a competing site in Ohio. Cobasys designs, manufactures and sells Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery systems for the emerging hybrid electric vehicle market. The company also focuses on the commercialization of battery storage systems for the telecommunications industry and stationary uninterruptible power sources.

Formerly known as Texaco Ovonic Battery Systems LLC, Cobasys was formed as a joint venture between the ChevronTexaco Corporation and Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. in July 2001.

The project is expected to create 50 new jobs in the first year, and a total of 150 jobs within five years.

An economic analysis by the University of Michigan estimates that more than $97.5 million in new personal income will result from the project over the next 10 years.

Orion Township is expected to approve a 50 percent abatement of the company's new personal property taxes valued at $92,000 for 12 years.

Material Sciences Corp. (MSC), based in Elk Grove, Illinois, plans to invest $17.4 million to establish a 54,000-square-foot technical center in Plymouth Township. MSC specializes in developing solutions that help reduce noise and heat problems related to the operation of automotive, appliance, office furniture, heating and cooling and electronics products. The expansion is expected to create six new positions in the first year of the project for a total of 17 by 2014. In addition, the company will relocate 24 current employees in Farmington Hills to the new facility.

MSC had considered a competing site in Ohio for the expansion. However, an SBT credit worth $800,000 convinced the company to expand in Michigan.

Plymouth Township is expected to approve a 50 percent abatement of the company's new real and personal property taxes for 12 years. The value of the abatement is estimated at more than $1.4 million.

An economic analysis by the University of Michigan estimates that more than $14.4 million in new personal income will be generated from the project over the life of the agreement.

"These are fantastic jobs that will further reinforce the state's reputation as a hotbed for high-tech development," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "The fact that companies like Cobasys and MSC are expanding in Michigan demonstrates the strength of the state's advanced automotive manufacturing sector."

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. For more information on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.michigan.org

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Contacts:
Ray Wagner, Cobasys
Paul Krepps, MEDC

 
—  (248) 637-7404
—  (517) 335-4590
 

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