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Rivian reaffirms plans for $5B Georgia EV plant despite construction pause

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Dive Brief:

  • Irvine, California-based Rivian reaffirmed its commitment to build its $5 billion Social Circle, Georgia, electric vehicle plant, despite an ongoing construction pause, according to a letter from the electric automaker on April 18.
  • The letter, addressed to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, notes the carmaker intends to “remain a good steward of the project, and will be mindful of the interests of all relevant stakeholders.”
  • Rivian officials wrote that during the pause period, the company anticipates performing some limited site development activities, but the depth and breadth of that work has not yet been determined.

Dive Insight:

Rivian temporarily halted construction on its $5 billion EV plant in Georgia in order to save money and focus on the delivery of its R2 model at its Illinois plant instead, according to a company release.

This prompted some concerns from state officials that the company could abandon its project in Georgia.

But Rivian officials provided reassurance in their letter that despite the pause in construction, the company remains committed to complying with environmental regulations and contractual agreements. Rivian also emphasized its intention to continue limited site development activities, maintain communication with relevant stakeholders and prioritize project security during the pause period.

“Rivian’s overall goal is to use the pause to prepare the Project to go vertical when the pause is lifted,” wrote Alan Hoffman, Rivian’s chief policy officer, in the letter. 

Some of the limited site development activities mentioned in the letter include stabilization of the lower pad area and continuous improvements to the upper pad area of the site. Additionally, the carmaker noted construction activities such as signage, fencing, gating and access control implementation measures to move forward.

Another detail highlighted in the letter pertains to Rivian’s commitment to over-engineering the project in accordance with prior plans for impervious surfaces. This involves accommodating pervious surfaces during the pause period, which aligns with environmental considerations and regulatory compliance.

Rivian also emphasized its intention to comply with all requirements regarding the Erosion Sedimentation and Pollution Control Plan, indicating its commitment to environmental impact mitigation throughout the construction process, according to the letter. 

Rivian selected Clayco, the Chicago-based general contractor, earlier this year to build the $5 billion plant. Rivian said in its letter to Georgia officials that Clayco would “maintain a constant presence at the Project.”

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