Japan’s gigafactory will create thousands of new jobs and generate hundreds of billions of yen, the head of the country’s manufacturing industry said on Friday.

Akari City resident Kazuhiro Tanaka told NHK TV that the factory will employ up to 1,000 people and create at least 10,000 jobs.

It will be a new economic powerhouse in Japan, he said, adding that it will help Japan become a leading technology exporter.

But the project has been criticized by critics, including a group of academics who say it will increase greenhouse gas emissions, damage the environment and create an incentive for companies to cut workers.

Critics say the project is also designed to boost the government’s economic standing by creating thousands of jobs.