Updated: Norwegian company wants tax breaks for possible Butte factory


A Norwegian company developing silicon-based materials for higher-density batteries with faster and longer-lasting charges is considering Butte and three other locations to build a large manufacturing plant.

The Cenate factory would occupy a 40-acre site in the Montana Connections Business Park just west of town. It would use raw materials from the REC Silicon facility already there and could eventually employ up to 250, the company said.

Cenate — pronounced Sin-NAH-Tah — is seeking significant tax abatements in Butte and tax incentives in three other possible plant locations as well: Moses Lake or Tri-Cites in Washington state and Hermiston, Oregon.

Those places are all near REC Silicon’s other U.S. manufacturing plant at Moses Lake. Cenate has a pilot plant south of Oslo, Norway but is looking to expand into the U.S.

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Cenate wants tax abatements in Butte that would reduce its locally assessed mills for property taxes by 75% the first five years. It would pay more in phases in years six through nine and pay 100% of the taxes normally owed after that.

Without abatements, Cenate’s projected local tax bill would be about $26 million total over

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