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EnerDel in line for $3 million grant

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Battery maker EnerDel is in line for a $3 million federal grant that would help bring 200 more jobs to its facilities on the north side of Indianapolis and in Noblesville.

The grant would come from a larger pool of disaster-recovery money that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has directed to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The disasters that prompted the flow of federal funds include the floods and tornadoes of 2008.

Under pressure to distribute the federal funds in a timely fashion, the state Office of Community and Rural Affairs identified EnerDel as a candidate for the grant and asked the city of Indianapolis to serve as fiscal agent, said Jennie Fults, an administrator in the city's Department of Metropolitan Development.

Fults said the city, working with EnerDel and a contracted grants administrator, will apply for the money as soon as possible.

EnerDel, a subsidiary of New York-based Ener1, would use the $3 million to purchase more equipment at its Hague Road facility in Indianapolis and create 150 new full-time jobs. Another 50 jobs would be created in Noblesville, said Matt Steward, an EnerDel spokesman with the public relations firm Westcomm.

EnerDel would not comment further about the grant or its plans for the federal funds, but Steward said more job news is on tap for Thursday. The company and state officials are planning a 1 p.m. announcement.

EnerDel is a start-up maker of battery packs for electric vehicles and other uses. It has grown from 41 employees a year ago to 180 today. The company has received state tax incentives and plans to create a total of 400 jobs in Noblesville and Indianapolis by 2012. It also has applied for a $480 million federal loan that would allow for a significant expansion of manufacturing at a third facility, which has yet to be identified.

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