Project receiving Recovery Act funding for advanced batteries
July 12, 2010
Washington, D.C. —Nevada Senator Harry Reid joined Rockwood Holdings in announcing the expansion of its lithium production operation in Silver Peak. The expansion is being partially financed by $28.4 million in Recovery Act funding administered in a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE) for the development of advanced batteries.
The Chemetall Foote operation, which is the only operating domestic lithium operation in the United States, is the main economic driver in Silver Peak.
“This is great news for the people of Silver Peak and Esmeralda County,” said Reid. “The expansion of this project further demonstrates Nevada’s commitment to renewable energy production and alternative power through advanced batteries. This development is especially important for rural communities where mining is a major employer. Chemetall’s model of using renewable energy to power the operation is an excellent example for other mining operations in the Silver State.”
"At Christmas last year the people of the town of Silver Peak had experienced only bad news. Long time friends and co-workers were forced to leave due to layoffs; the economy was horrible. They felt hopeless and doomed to extinction,” said Esmeralda County Commissioner Nancy Boland.
“In my letter to constituents in Silver Peak I spoke to them about how important and abundant the natural resources here are for renewable energy. Shortly thereafter the town was alive with geothermal exploration drill rigs and Chemetall Foote slowly started to rehire and hire for new jobs. The expansion of the lithium operation will restore jobs and health to our community. I thank Senator Reid who heard of our distress and proactively supported our county to accomplish this expansion, which is important not only to Esmeralda County, but also to our nation as a whole."
This means more jobs in renewable energy. As of last month, 20 new jobs have been created either at Chemetall Foote or contractors directly working on projects for the site. During the peak of construction in 2011 and 2012, the project will employ 50 additional people. At the conclusion of the project in 2013 the site will employ fifty people, doubling the number of employees from 2009.
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