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CHATHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Incentives to lure North Carolina’s first auto manufacturing facility – to build electric vehicles and batteries – received formal approval Tuesday afternoon.

The NC Department of Commerce’s Economic Investment Committee unanimously approved about $854 million for Project Blue LLC, so called because the company hasn’t settled on a formal name, to Chatham County, officials said.

This is a Vietnamese auto manufacturer, which would invest about $4 billion to construct two models of all-electric sports utility vehicles and a battery manufacturing facility at an unspecified site in Chatham. The company would add 7,500 jobs between 2023 and 2029 and pay an average minimum wage of $51,096.

The Triangle Business Journal identified the company as VinFast, an EV startup founded in 2017 by billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong. Some have speculated there could be as many as 20,000 employees related to this venture.

These will be large and mid-sized SUVs and the company would begin in the 4th quarter of 2024 and ramp up to produce 200,000 vehicles per year.

The state has been competing with Savannah, Ga., as finalists from an original list of 29 sites in 12 states. These follow the announcements of Toyota’s battery plant at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite and Boom Supersonic at Piedmont Triad International Airport.

The state is investing $316 million in JDIG over a 32-year period, and there are additional grants from the community college training and the Golden Leaf Foundation to total $450 million from the state. Chatham County is tossing in another $400 million in local incentives.

The projected state impact by 2055 is $71.6 billion to the gross domestic product and $596 million to state revenue.