Halifax County will become home to the first recycled titanium manufacturing site in the United States.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin traveled to South Boston today to announce that IperionX Limited, a Charlotte-based critical minerals company, will operate out of a shell building at the Southern Virginia Technology Park in Halifax.
The company is pledging to invest $82.1 million and bring 108 jobs to the county.
This puts Virgina on the map as the center of the national titanium manufacturing industry, Youngkin said, and even more exciting, it will reshore a critical supply chain.
“The primary manufacturers and suppliers of titanium are in Russia and China today, and we are seeing that supply chain come home, right here to Halifax County,” Youngkin said at the ceremony.
IperionX intends to use renewable energy to produce 100% recycled, low-carbon titanium that exceeds current industry standards. All of the feedstock for production will come from titanium metal scrap.
This will be a resource-efficient, closed-loop process, Youngkin said. The titanium will be supplied to multiple industries, including aerospace, defense, automotive, 3D printing, and electric vehicles.
To attract IperionX to this site, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership created an incentive package alongside Halifax County, the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and Virginia Department of Energy.
Youngkin approved a $300,000 grant from the Virginia Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approved a $573,000 grant from the Tobacco Region Opportunity fund to aid the county with this project.
Additionally, the county’s IDA is providing a $4 million construction allowance to make sure the site is development ready.
“The company is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development,” said a release from the governor’s office. “Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.”
The building was completed in December 2020, the same year IperionX was founded, but needs a few final touches before things get up and running. Still, it will be a “swift timeline,” Kristy Johnson, executive director for the county’s IDA, said after the event.
IperionX’s CEO, Taso Arima, said Halifax was chosen because of strong local leadership, supported by strong state leadership.
“There were a lot of sites we looked at,” Arima said during the ceremony. But what made such a big difference was the community, he said.
“We need a great workforce and we need great support from our community and our community leaders,” Arima said. “And here in the great Commonwealth of Virginia and down into Halifax County, we’ve got it from the top down.”
Arima said Youngkin was the first to call him during the company’s national site selection survey, which included sites in North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.
The shell building is a 50,000-square-foot space, expandable up to 150,000 square feet. IperionX plans to expand to double the current space, Youngkin said.
The Southern Virginia Technology Park itself is a 165,000-acre park focused on IT, energy, biotechnology, telecommunications, and technical manufacturing, according to its website.
In an interview after the ceremony, Youngkin said this announcement reflects the forethought of the leadership in Halifax County and South Boston in constructing this building to attract companies. And on top of that, it’s a big deal for this part of the state, he said.
“I think Southside Virginia and other parts of more rural Virginia have really been kind of ignored over the last few administrations when it comes to economic development,” Youngkin said. “That’s why I’m so excited to be able to see this great company come here today.”