De Soto: Panasonic battery plant could open in just two years

DESOTO, Kan. — Nine thousand acres. That’s how big the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant site is. Panasonic’s new electronic vehicle battery facility is supposed to cover just 300 acres, less than 10%.

“Environmental remediation is still being done on portions of the property,” City Manager Mike Brungardt said in an interview with FOX4 on Thursday.

However, the environmental remediation that Brungardt is talking about is not the part that Panasonic is building on. Brungardt said the work is now complete and has been certified by the EPA.

“And so it’s a clean bill of health on the 300 acres that is the Panasonic site.”

Brungardt said the Sunflower Redevelopment Group is responsible for cleaning up buildings and road beds at the development site. They have had ownership of the property since 2004.

“So what I can tell you is with yesterday’s announcement from Panasonic, which involves 300 acres of the nine thousand acres,” Brungardt continued. “Environmental remediation and all structure remediation is largely complete on those 300 acres, so the property is now ready to stage a manufacturing facility.”

Courtesy: De Soto City Council

Brungardt said the buildings still need to be demolished and the area needs to be cleared.

“We believe that within a month, mass sorting will start on the site to get it ready.”

Panasonic is not confirming the timeline set by Brungardt.

“The site we have identified in De Soto offers a unique opportunity to turn the location into an economic engine that can propel a community and state into the future. We will work closely with the site owner to properly prepare the site for development when let’s reach an agreement,” a Panasonic Energy spokeswoman said in a statement to FOX4 on Thursday.

“We don’t have an announcement to make at this time about construction. In the meantime, yesterday’s announcement is an exciting next step as we focus on moving the world forward, producing the highest quality batteries for electric vehicles and achieve greater efficiency and savings. of scale that is critical to a net-zero emissions future. The proposed project, which is expected to drive significant economic activity and opportunity for the local economy, could create up to 4,000 new jobs and generate a potential investment of approximately $4 billion. As appropriate, we will share additional details as the project progresses.”

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