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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis takes a leading role in powering our future. In a live-streamed event at the White House on Wednesday, President Biden announced the first grants from the Infrastructure Bill he signed into law in November.

The announcement put a St. Louis manufacturing plant in the spotlight. The first person called upon by the President and Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, was Phillip Brown in St. Louis. Brown is the St. Louis-based Managing Director of North American operations for Israel Chemicals Limited (ICL). The Carondelet plant in south St. Louis was once home to Monsanto.

“We’ve been manufacturing here on the Mississippi River for over 140 years,” Brown said.

Last year, ICL added a new plant-based meat division. It is now receiving $197 million of $2.8 billion in federal infrastructure grants for 20 companies, announced by the President. ICL will use its grant to build a new $400 million lithium iron phosphate battery plant on what is now a greenspace at the Carondelet campus. ICL plans to make components for batteries as demand soars for electric vehicles (EVs). The goal is to develop a complete North American supply chain and end dependence on China for batteries and battery components.

The St. Louis plant will add 150 manufacturing jobs, plus a couple dozen science and engineering positions.

“For this material that we’ll be producing, lithium iron phosphate, there is none produced in the western world,” Brown said. “This grant really shows our support for bringing energy security for these new, innovative technologies for clean energy to the United States.”

Minutes later, Brown echo those words in response to President Biden.

“How is this plant going to strengthen our battery supply chain in the United States?” the President asked Brown at the event.

“It’s really going to utilize our abundant resources that we have here in North America and the USA to develop a secure supply chain that the entire industry can rely upon,” Brown said.

“We’re ready. We’ve got a whole group of people who are ready to go,” he said.

The project is now being “fast-tracked.” About two years from now, phase one of the new batter components plant should be operational, with the second and final phases coming online a year later.