Battery Manufacturer To Build Factory Complex In Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A Missouri-based battery manufacturer has selected Rapid City for a factory complex that it says could eventually employ up to 1,500 people.

AEsir Technologies plans to construct four buildings. The first building will be a 150,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center capable of producing 1.2 million batteries annually.

The company initially plans to hire 400 employees and expand to 1,200 to 1,500 employees. The first phase will cost around $90 million with a total price tag of $300 million when all four phases of the development are finished, according to CEO Randy Moore.

The company looked for an available labor force, an economic development incentive package and community support when searching for the ideal location for the new facility, Moore said. Twenty other communities were considered for the facility.

“Rapid City was head and shoulders above the other 20 potential site selections in terms of economic development package and business community involvement,” Moore told the Rapid City Journal.

Moore said easy access to rail, a state highway and Rapid City Regional Airport was also a factor in the company’s decision to choose Rapid City.

AEsir Technologies manufactures nickel zinc batteries that Moore said are two to three times more powerful than lithium ion batteries and last just as long. He said they use potassium hydroxide as the electrolyte, an active ingredient in soaps and shampoos, which makes the batteries environmentally friendly.

The factory will be the anchor for the new Rushmore Industrial Center developed by Dream Design International.