Berkeley Co. approves $3.5B, 30-year deal with battery recycling plant
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCSC) - Berkeley County Council has voted to approve a 30-year deal with a battery recycling plant to bring a multi-billion-dollar investment to just off Interstate 26 near Volvo’s plant.
Council voted 6-0, with Councilmember Steve Davis absent and Councilmember Philip Obie II abstaining, on the agreement with Redwood Materials.
“With this vote tonight, they cannot go out there and push dirt tomorrow,” Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb said. “They’ve got a lot of things they got to do before they can do that.”
The total investment from the company will be an estimated $3.5 billion, which is double the previous state record of $1.7 billion announced by BMW earlier this year. The company expects to create around 1,500 jobs and bring improvements to Highway 176.
Redwood Materials is a company based out of Nevada that recycles batteries to make new components and has previously partnered with Volvo, according to their website.
As part of the agreement, around $125 million will be allocated to widen parts of Highway 176 to four lanes and enlarge some intersections.
“The additional funds paid are a lack of incentive in the first 10 years to where until that road is paid for, the incentive doesn’t kick in,” Cribb said, “so the county is not paying for the road. The company coming in is actually paying for the road.”
Mike Fitzgerald lives nearby and outlined concerns he has with batteries and its potential environmental impacts.
“I mean, if it gets into the water supply, most of the people that live around there are on wells,” he said. “It’s not like I can throw a valve and get county water. We ain’t got it.”
Cribb said as of Monday, Redwood Materials would be the sole company on Camp Hall’s Campus 3 and would take up to 200 acres of land, with the other 400 acres still available.
The supervisor said the company will bring high-paying entry level jobs to the county once operational, and they would like to get going as early as late next year.
“It sounds like the company wants to move pretty quick, so once real property gets in place and once equipment gets in place, it begins to get taxed just like anything else,” Cribb said.
The land will be taxed at 4% for 30 years and would require a minimum investment of $400 million under the agreement.
Redwood Materials has not yet responded to requests for comment on their future plans for the site.
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