CHARLOTTE – North Carolina’s growing lithium battery and energy sector is going to gain 205 jobs at an average wage of more than $94,000.

Charlotte-based Albemarle Corp. on Tuesday struck a deal through the North Carolina Commerce Department’s Economic Investment Committee for the building of a new facility focused on innovations for next-generation lithium products, including lithium batteries – the technology driving many electric vehicles today and in the future.

Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) is a specialty chemical company and is among the largest providers of lithium for electric vehicle batteries.

The company said in a statement that it will invest at least $180 million to establish what will be known as the Albemarle Technology Park at a former IBM and Flextronics facility.

In a statement, the company describes the planned facility as “a world-class facility designed for novel materials research, advanced process development, and acceleration of next-generation lithium products to market.”

To complete the project, the company was offered nearly $13 million in incentives.

“Albemarle appreciates the support from the State of North Carolina and the City of Charlotte for this exciting project,” said Kent Masters, Albemarle CEO, in a statement. “The Albemarle Technology Park is an important piece of our journey to develop advanced energy storage technologies that power our future.”

The company joins such firm as Toyota and VinFast pursuing lithium battery development in North Carolina. The state also has several firms focused on mining for lithium-related materials.

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What happens next

“Albemarle Technology Park is part of our mine-to-market innovation strategy to invest in the U.S. EV battery supply chain and to be a leader in advanced lithium materials for next-generation energy storage,” said Kent Masters, Albemarle CEO. “This facility will focus and accelerate our lithium technology leadership, better enabling the world’s transition to more sustainable energy.”

According to the agreement, a Job Development Investment Grant, Albemarle will invest $200 million in the expansion in Mecklenburg County. It also is required to retain 126 employees already working for the company in Cleveland County.

In return and if all terms of the agreement are meant, Albemarle will receive tax rebates of some $1.6 million from employee withholding taxes plus $11.4 million in local incentives from the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

Community college training valued at $410,000 also will be provided.

“North Carolina’s innovation economy continues to surge thanks to Albemarle Corporation building its research and development operations in Mecklenburg County,” said Governor Roy Cooper in a statement. “Albemarle’s cutting edge work will help bring the next generation of clean energy technology to life and create great jobs in North Carolina’s clean energy economy.”