Polaris Industries to Expand Osceola Engine Plant
Polaris Industries, a leading producer of recreational vehicles, is extending its engine assembly plant at its base in Osceola, Wisconsin, in a project which will cost $1.75 million.
Having previously been in a perilous position as recently as 2010, the facility on the Minnesota border in the northwest of the state is set to begin its second expansion in the space of three years.
The move will facilitate the production of greater numbers of Polaris Pro-Star engine platforms, boosting the plant’s engine capacity by around 40 percent.
Republican Governor Scott Walker outlined the socio—economic benefits of the development, saying that it would bring 60 new jobs and retain 200 others. If such jobs are added within three years Polaris would receive a tax break of $234,000 dollars.
This incentive follows a 2012 project which was designed to reward the creation of 89 jobs with tax credits of almost $600,000, and Walker is looking to lure investment into Wisconsin ahead of rival locations including Iowa and Minnesota.
The plans represent a marked turnaround in fortunes from four years’ ago, when Polaris announced a financial restructuring, or cuts, which involved the planned closure of the Osceola plant and the layoff of 515 workers. It was planning to move some of its production across the US border into Mexico, angering politicians.
However, the plant never closed and is moving in the opposite direction.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.