Electric battery maker taking over old Philip Morris plant in Concord

The Philip Morris plant in Concord has been sold to a developer. 2004 FILE PHOTO - DAVIE HINSHAW
The Philip Morris plant in Concord has been sold to a developer. 2004 FILE PHOTO - DAVIE HINSHAW

The former Philip Morris plant site in Concord will apparently become home to an electric battery manufacturing operation, according to help wanted ads placed online by the firm.

A company called Victory Industrial Park LLC, initially identified only as a clean-energy firm, bought the 2,100-acre campus in April for $68.5 million.

The company declined at the time to say exactly what it planned to do with the site, but ads on say the company specializes “in battery technology and manufacturing for long life commercial applications and electric vehicle transportation.”

The company, identified in the ads as Victory Industries, described itself as a growing company setting up its manufacturing operation at the former Philip Morris site on U.S. 29.

The company wants to build its engineering and support team, and has listed positions including project and production manager, sales account manager, engineers, IT analyst and senior buyer.

A spokesman for the company, Julian Tanner, said the firm is not ready to announce its plans formally, “but (I) am hopeful we will get there soon.”

He declined to specify how many jobs the firm is bringing.

Concord City Manager W. Brian Hiatt said it’s his understanding the company might make an announcement in October.

Altria, Philip Morris’ Richmond, Va.-based parent company, announced plans to close the plant in 2007, cutting 2,500 jobs and a big chunk of Concord’s tax base. The property stayed on the market for years before Victory bought it.

A Norwegian businessman named Jostein Eikeland is involved in the new project, Tanner has said. Eikeland, on his website, bills himself as “a visionary serial entrepreneur” with experience in multiple business sectors, including technology, automotive, energy storage and environmental.

Victory Industrial Park first filed incorporation papers in North Carolina in June 2013 using a business address in Boca Raton, Fla., according to records on file with the N.C. Secretary of State’s office.