Ohio approves tax incentives for Chinese manufacturer that would create 1,200 jobs

Mark Williams
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio has approved tax incentives for a Chinese manufacturer that would create about 1,200 jobs tied to the electric vehicle business.

Fresh off of winning Intel's $20 billion project to make semiconductors in Licking County, the state is on the verge of landing another big project: a $900 million investment by a Chinese manufacturer of materials used in batteries that power electric vehicles and other products.

The Ohio Tax Credit Authority on Monday approved tax incentives for Semcorp Manufacturing USA for a project that would create about 1,200 jobs in Sidney in western Ohio. The jobs have a payroll of $73 million.

The company is a large producer of separator film used in lithium-ion batteries. The company's focus is on electric vehicles along with consumer electronics and energy storage systems.

The tax credits are worth an estimated $22.7 million.

“The project is contingent on incentives that still need to be considered and approved," Matt Englehart, spokesman for JobsOhio, the state's economic development arm, said in an email.

"This project is critical to the U.S. supply chain as more (original equipment manufacturers) shift away from the internal combustion engine supply chain and toward electric vehicle production. Ohio has a unique opportunity to lead in building a manufacturing and supply network that capitalizes on the fast growth in electric vehicles.”

Ohio is competing with Texas for the project, according to state documents.

It would be Semcorp's first North American manufacturing plant to support the electric vehicle battery market.

The project was one of eight to be approved Monday by the authority. The projects will create 1,884 jobs and retain 838 statewide.

In Columbus, a newly formed company called Orveon Global is planning to create 150 jobs with a $15 million payroll for its new project in the Arena District.

Orveon Global, based in New York City, is a collection of premium beauty brands, primarily focused on makeup, skin care and fragrances.

Boston-based private equity firm Advent International acquired the brands from Japanese cosmetics conglomerate Shiseido in December. The company has regional headquarters in London and Tokyo, and selected 343 N. Front St. in Columbus for its new office after a nationwide search.

The office will begin hiring immediately for positions in areas such as finance, legal and supply chain.

The tax credits have an estimated value of $3.1 million.

Paint company Behr Process will create 90 jobs in Heath as part of its plan to establish manufacturing and distribution operations in the Midwest to meet growing demand for home improvement and construction supplies. 

The jobs will have an annual payroll of $4.4 million. The tax credits are worth an estimated $400,000.

Fireplace design and installation company Ortal USA expects to create 24 jobs and $1.5 million in new payroll as part of its plan to relocate its headquarters from California to Columbus.

The tax credits are worth an estimated $105,000.