The factory will occupy 2,000 acres of farmland
The automaker plans to create 7,500 jobs in the state
The company has support from local politicians, but many local residents are worried
Rivian wants to expand its operations by building a brand-new factory in Georgia to supplement its current factory in Illinois which it bought from Mitsubishi. This factory will build the same models as the current plant: the R1T, R1S and the delivery vans.
The automaker’s plans call for the construction of a large assembly facility on a 2,000-acre lot of farmlands East of Atlanta for a total investment of $5billion USD.
This plan has the support of state and local politicians, who have already cut deals for tax incentives and environmental standards with the automaker.
The reasoning of the plan’s supporters is that the construction and subsequent operation of the factory will be the largest economic development project that has ever been undertaken in Georgia. In addition, the automaker estimates that running the factory will create 7,500 local jobs, thus stimulating the region’s economy.
As a part of the incentive package, a new interchange will be added to the I-20 which runs next to the factory’s future location. Other measures set up to make sure the automaker doesn’t back out of the deal include tax-payer funded worker training and various other tax credits.
This project doesn’t only receive praise however, since many local residents are worried about the potential environmental impacts of the factory. In addition, many believe that the incentive package is too generous and that the economical benefits generated by the automaker will take too long to materialise.
A chief complaint of opposants is that the plant will occupy a large area of farmlands, thus worsening the overdevelopment problem that is seen in many places where industrial complexes take over more and more agricultural lands.
Another point raised by environmentalists is that the plant could endanger the water table for surrounding areas which depend on wells to get their drinking water.
Finally, opposants say that the share Rivian will pay in taxes over the next few years is insufficient to fund the upgrades that will be necessary to the local infrastructures, such as roads, housing and schools.