Sumter’s new eVAC plant gets $111M in tax credits


SUMTER — A German company planning to open its first U.S. facility in Sumter for producing magnets used in electric vehicles has received an additional $111 million from the federal government.
eVAC Magnetics, Sumter’s plant for the VAC company, announced in December that it would invest $506 million and create 300 jobs in Sumter. It was given $111.8 million through a federal tax credit program that aims to expand clean energy manufacturing, according to a news release from the company. The plant will produce rare earth permanent magnets used in electric vehicles.
The Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit was established in 2009 and expanded more than a year ago as a part of the federal Inflation Reduction Act. The federal government will hand out $4 billion in the first round of tax credits.
It’s at least the second larger lump sum of money handed to the company by the federal government. The initial announcement of the plant came a few months after the Department of Defense announced plans in September to invest in domestic manufacturing of the magnets. Those plans included a $94.1 million award to the company.
According to previous reporting in The Sumter Item, the plant’s groundbreaking ceremony was held in Pocotaligo Industrial Park last month with more than 100 people in attendance.
VAC CEO Erik Eschen and other company officials said the manufacturer plans to have its state-of-the-art facility operational by the end of next year with at least 200 employees producing permanent magnets for General Motors.
The new facility will be 410,000 square feet and is on 83 acres in the industrial park, which is off U.S. 521 and near Continental Tire and Nova Molecular, according to previous reporting in The Item.
The plant will open amid a significant push by state leaders for South Carolina to become the leader in advanced manufacturing, with large economic development boons like Scout Motors, a Volkswagen subsidiary set to create 4,000 jobs in the Midlands, and AESC, an EV battery plant aimed for Florence.
“The automobile industry is really important to the state of South Carolina,” state Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III said when e-VAC Magnetics was announced in December. “It’s our largest manufacturing sector. It’s critically important that they make a pivot from internal combustion engines to the battery electric vehicles.”
The magnet manufacturer broke ground in March and is expected to be completed by late 2025.