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Norwegian entrepreneur behind new venture at Philip Morris plant

Published Friday, September 19, 2014

CONCORD, N.C. – The man behind the venture bringing new life to the former Philip Morris plant is Jostein Eikeland, a Norwegian entrepreneur who is credited with helping develop cloud computing.

Eikeland has also been involved in multiple business sectors, including technology, automotive, energy storage and environmental, according to his website.

His name is on several patents related to electric vehicle energy storage through another company, ALEVO Inc., which specializes in energy storage, electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, grid balancing and vehicle communications systems.

Calls to the Boca Raton, Fla., office that houses ALEVO and both Victory corporations were not returned Thursday.

It’s still unclear exactly what the new company operating the former Philip Morris plant will manufacture at the site, but clues point to batteries for commercial buses or other vehicles.

Victory Industrial Park bought the 2,023-acre site off Concord Parkway South in April for $68.5 million.

Victory Industries LLC, which has the same business address, formed in June and has posted professional job listings on several websites.

“Victory Industries specializes in battery technology and manufacturing for long life commercial applications and electric vehicle transportation,” read one job posting. “Victory Industries Management is a growing company and is in the process of setting up its manufacturing facility and is building its engineering and support team to accomplish this.”

The decision to buy the Philip Morris plant and set up a clean-tech operation were praised by the Cabarrus County business community, but officials wouldn’t comment on details of the coming operations there, citing nondisclosure agreements.

The 2.3 million-square-foot Class A manufacturing, office and warehouse facility has an additional 1 million square feet of distribution space in eight separate buildings. It has 2,100 parking spots divided among eight lots. The tax value of the site is $90 million.

It has sat mostly unused since closing in 2009.

Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation president Patrick Coughlin said Victory’s decision to move to Cabarrus County was part of a four-year effort involving multiple government agencies, private utilities and the plant’s former owner, Altria Group Inc.

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