Even as a boom in manufacturing construction continues across the country, several multibillion-dollar projects have hit unforeseen roadblocks in recent weeks.
Scout Motors, an American automotive company and subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, recently paused pre-construction site clearing activity that had begun early at its $2 billion electric vehicle plant in Blythewood, South Carolina, according to the company. Concerns from environmental groups and state and federal agencies around wetland development caused project teams to hold off further construction work while permitting moves forward, according to a statement shared with Construction Dive.
Meanwhile, battery manufacturer American Battery Factory postponed construction of its $1.2 billion lithium phosphate battery factory in Tucson, Arizona, until November, according to a Pima County board of supervisors meeting on Sept. 5. Project teams originally pegged construction to begin in September, but decided to delay work by a couple of months due to additional geotechnical assessment and surveying.
Geotechnical assessments are often needed to identify the type of earth that exists below the ground. Once complete, that data will support design work of the gigafactory.
These developments follow the July announcement from TSMC, a Taiwan-based semiconductor company, to push back the opening of its Arizona chip factory until 2025 due to labor issues, said Mark Liu, TSMC chairman. Labor shortages, combined with COVID-19 surges and licensing problems, had already caused a three to six-month delay on the $40 billion project.
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