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GM Breaks Ground on White Marsh Electric Motor Plant

The addition is expected to create about 190 jobs.

General Motors broke ground Tuesday morning on a new electric motor plant in White Marsh. Scheduled to open in 2013, the Philadelphia Road addition will be the first of its kind run by a major automaker in the United States, GM officials said.

Gov. Martin O’Malley was joined by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other government officials during the groundbreaking. 

“Maryland is a national leader of discovery and innovation. It is fitting that traditional manufacturers like GM would choose Maryland to embrace the new technologies that will move our economy forward and create jobs," O'Malley said in a news release.

“We are proud to be home to the GM Baltimore Transmission Plant, the first to produce these engines of the future to power the next generation of GM vehicles.  This new facility will not only help preserve our resources for generations to come, but it will save and create jobs for Maryland moms and dads, allowing our state and our children to be winners in this new economy,” he said. 

, the addition is the result of a $269.5 million investment. It will house the company's two-mode hybrid and heavy-duty transmission operations and is expected to create about 190 jobs. 

"GM has continuously demonstrated its confidence in Baltimore County's business community and the workers in White Marsh by adding new product lines that are transforming energy use and transportation efficiency,"  Kamenetz said in a news release.

"This new plant means new green manufacturing jobs and represents significant investment in a sustainable future," he added.

The plant's environmental impact will be reduced by a 1.23-megawatt rooftop solar array. Built and owned by Constellation Energy, the panels are expected to generate 9 percent of the plant's annual energy consumption, saving approximately $330,000 in energy costs. 

“By harnessing solar energy from this array, GM will offset up to 1,103 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air per year—equivalent to the emissions from 216 passenger vehicles,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president, Energy, Environment and Safety Policy in a news release. 

The GM Foundation and Baltimore Operations also announced $20,000 in donations to the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, Maryland Food Bank and the Wildlife Habitat Council during the groundbreaking. 

William Lutostanski Jr May 19, 2011 at 06:47 PM
Gm still has not paid back their bailout and still continue to recieve goverment assistence to sustain and expand their operations. Baltimore County gave 6 million dollars for them to build this plant and now they warn us that next year there will be major budget cuts.
Tim May 19, 2011 at 06:50 PM
Carole: You aren't excited at the prosepct of new jobs for the area, and producing products that will ultimately both save money and our environment? And it's O'Malley. I think he's been a subpar governor as well, but at least get his name right. He was a pretty good mayor. William: We both know GM stands for Government Motors now. Of course they won't be paying back their bailout money. As if anyone really thought they would. That said, I really don't think they will cut budget on this particular plant. Call me a crazy optimist, but I have a feeling they won't be cutting budget on this particular project. Electric cars are the future.
William Lutostanski Jr May 19, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Tim , my point is that the County is in no position to give out grants like this. They are warning of bigger budget cuts next year. GM more then likely would have built this plant without the 6 million from the County,as they already own the property and have had plans to build a plant adjacent to the current one almost as long as it has been there.
Tim May 19, 2011 at 07:13 PM
I see your point now. I respectfully still disagree. If this had been a conventional automotive plant, I would agree. Consider the possible revenue streams that will come into the county as a result of this plant. In the somewhat near future, there will be test cities where investment into infrastructure supporting electric cars will need to be implemented and tested. Although I won't be naive enough to suggest this guarantees Baltimore county a spot when that time comes, I feel as though it'd be advantageous to have a plant here. Above and beyond the fact it's employing a couple hundred people. It's not like they are throwing the money away. I also suspect this isn't the only 'location' that GM could have built a similar plant. It's a pretty big assumption to think GM had no other viable (or even better) options then White Marsh.
William Lutostanski Jr May 19, 2011 at 07:27 PM
Sorry, While I agree that the added jobs are a good thing, I do not agree with the County giving out 6 million at a time when we are scraping by and dipping into the rainy day fund to make ends meet. We will never know if the 6 million made a difference in their decision to build this plant in White Marsh verses somewhere else but Im sure GM had the means to do it without more goverment assistence.

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