PRAGUE, July 26 (Reuters) – The Czech government took a step closer on Monday to backing a new $2 billion-plus electric vehicle (EV) battery plant that is expected to create more than 2,000 jobs.
The government approved the text of a memorandum supporting the new plant that will be signed with majority state-owned utility CEZ (CEZP.PR), Industry Minister Karel Havlicek said.
CTK news agency earlier said the memorandum should be signed on Tuesday. Citing a government document, it said investment in the initial phase of the plant, or so-called gigafactory, would total at least 52 billion crowns ($2.4 billion).
Havlicek said on Twitter a plant could create 2,300 new jobs.
CEZ did not have an immediate comment.
CTK said that, according to the document, CEZ was prepared to become an investor in the project, as well as an energy and lithium supplier.
The state is also looking to sign up other investors in the plant as the European and global automobile industry shifts towards an electric future.
($1 = 21.7080 Czech crowns)
Reporting by Jason Hovet Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Mark Potter
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