Battery maker Clarios announced on 4 May it is to close its Middletown, Delaware, assembly plant later this year.
In a supplier information letter, the firm, formerly known as Johnson Controls Power Solutions before it was bought by Brookfield Brothers in June 2019, said it would close the plant in November.
The letter, signed Micah Mahnke director, procurement US, said: “With multiple facilities across the region, Clarios has evaluated and determined that we need to take the difficult but necessary step of closing the Middletown, Delaware, plant.”
The company is expected to relocate production to its other plants in the US.
The Middletown Distribution Centre will continue operations.
Last year, in an exclusive interview with BEST, the company said it was focusing on AGM and 12V lead-acid batteries for electric vehicles.
At the time of publication, Clarios had not responded to BEST‘s questions about whether the closure was connected to an environmental violation notice issued by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).
According to the notice, which dates back to November 2018, the violation had not been corrected by this January. The violations concerns emissions of hydrogen gas based on the lowest achievable detection limit approved in advance by DNREC.
DNREC had required Clarios to submit a revised air quality permit application within 60 days and an operating permit application by early June, reported the area’s newspaper the Delaware Business News in January.
Clarios spokesperson Kari Pfisterer said in an statement at the time that the company was working with DNREC to understand the basis for the Notice of Violation, and was committed to operating at the “highest performance levels for environment, health and safety that is protective of both our employees and the communities in which we operate”.
Before the buyout, Johnson Controls Battery Group owned and operated the facility at 700 North Broad Street, Middletown, Delaware.
The 16-acre facility consists of the manufacturing building and parking lots. It had been engaged in the manufacture of various size industrial and commercial lead-acid batteries since 1961.