Kansas lands Panasonic plant, according to published report


Panasonic has decided to locate an electric vehicle battery plant in Kansas that could bring an historic $4 billion investment to the state, NikkeiAsia is reporting this afternoon.

The publication, which covers Japan’s economy and markets, is reporting that Panasonic has picked Kansas over Oklahoma.

The company picked Kansas based on its proximity to Texas and favorable tax environment, the publication reported.

Panasonic made its decision following Tesla’s opening of a second American electronic vehicle factory in Texas to meet rising demand.

The revelation comes hours before Gov. Laura Kelly is planning a “special event” for an announcement at 5 Wednesday afternoon.

The Sunflower State Journal learned of the announcement Tuesday when it obtained copies of invitations to the event set for 5 p.m. Wednesday in Topeka.

The announcement is planned to come after a 3 p.m. meeting of the State Finance Council, which would have to approve the development incentives for the project.

The governor’s office told legislative leaders the agenda and accompanying materials were still being finalized and would be available to council members before the start of the meeting.

The governor’s office did not respond to a question about the announcement.

Earlier this year, the Legislature approved economic development incentives worth an estimated $1.3 billion for what could be one of the biggest economic development projects in state history.

It has been widely reported that Panasonic had been considering Oklahoma and Kansas for a mega economic development project that could be worth $4 billion and employ 4,000.

It has been reported for months that Panasonic has been looking at the Sunflower Army Ammunition site in De Soto.

And last month, the city’s planning commission determined that the project was in conformance with the city’s comprehensive plan for the area.

City planning documents don’t mention Panasonic, but refer to “Project Ocean,” the code name assigned to the development project.

Also last month, the De Soto City Council approved an “expression of intent” to issue up to $100 million in industrial revenue bonds, which would allow the developer to be exempt from sales tax on construction material.

“As part of the City’s continued effort to make the De Soto site as attractive as possible for Project Ocean, city staff, the Sunflower Development team…and the city’s consultants all believe it makes sense to move forward on approving project plans…,” a city report said.

Last week, the De Soto City Council was set to approve two project plans for the old munitions site, but they were delayed until July 21 at the behest of the developer.

One plan covers 309 acres within about 6,000 acres of the land that was annexed into the city and another encompassing 296 acres, according to city documents.

Construction of the project on 309 acres is expected to start this year and be completed by 2025, according to city documents.

Construction of the project on 296 acres is expected to be completed by 2028, according to city documents.

The project is expected to generate about $200 million in revenues that could be used to recover development expenses on the 296-acre parcel.

It is projected to generate $202.6 million in revenues that could be used to recover development expenses on the 309-acre parcel.