New York state has begun to sell off more than $200 million in manufacturing equipment that it bought for planned Tesla and Panasonic solar manufacturing facilities in Buffalo.
According to local press, the state is moving this equipment to make room for new equipment Tesla has already purchased for planned expansions of its operations at the RiverBend manufacturing facility. The state is framing the story to say that the jobs and local benefits created by the plant will outweigh any losses that come from the equipment sale.
DEVELOPING STORY (thread): New York State is in the process of selling and/or scrapping manufacturing equipment it purchased for Tesla and Panasonic, originally valued at $207 million. These purchase were originally part of the Buffalo Billion.
— Ryan Whalen (@RyanWhalenCT) October 18, 2021
The equipment is being sold by NY CREATES, the state-associated non-profit overseeing the RiverBend facility. Investments in the facility and equipment were initially made by the state, under agreements that Tesla and Panasonic would lease both the facility and use the equipment.
Most of the equipment, which was reportedly purchased in 2015 and early 2016 before Tesla acquired SolarCity, was used by Panasonic prior to the company’s departure from RiverBend in 2020.
Of the $207 million in equipment being sold, roughly $125 million was used by Panasonic. Some $32 million in equipment will remain at the facility and be used by Tesla. An additional $22 million worth of equipment that had been stored in a local business park will be recycled.
It has reportedly cost the state more than $200,000 to store the equipment. It is also expected that the equipment resale will be for a lower price than the equipment’s original evaluation.
NEW: NY Creates is selling tools and equipment used by Tesla and Panasonic at Riverbend. Much of the tools were ordered prior to Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, and well before Panasonic’s involvement, according to a spokesperson. @WKBW pic.twitter.com/7ZlebONrx9
— Sean Mickey (@SeanMickey7) October 18, 2021
Reports also said that NY CREATES is having difficulty selling the equipment due to its specialized nature, and that the state has hired a global financial services group to remarket it. The state has not disclosed its return on the equipment that has been sold thus far, hoping not to negatively impact negotiations.
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