Cabarrus

Battery producer brings 250 jobs

The demand associated with the growth of Electric Drive Vehicles prompted Polypore International to build its Celgard manufacturing facility in Concord.

"This latest investment is consistent with our commitment to make the necessary investments to capitalize on this growing demand," said president and CEO Robert Toth. "The size and scale of our investments were in response to that acceleration."

Celgard LLC announced the addition of 250 jobs during a ribbon-cutting event at its new manufacturing facility in Concord. Celgard is one of the largest lithium battery separator producers and one of the three major global suppliers.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Gov. Bev Perdue and local leaders attended the July 25 event. Chu praised the company for helping the U.S. remain a frontrunner in sustainable energy technology.

Celgard, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polypore International Inc., developed some of the first separators for lithium batteries more than 20 years ago. Lithium battery separators are used in mobile phones, digital cameras and electronic vehicles.

Celgard's $105 million project is part of an Electric Drive Vehicles-targeted expansion originally announced in 2009. Celgard, which works with the battery producer that supplies the fully electric Chevy Volt, displayed a Volt it purchased for employees to travel between its Concord and Charlotte plants.

Plans to build the Concord facility were announced in 2010. Operations are expected to begin in 2013 and will be fully operational in 2014, company officials said.

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