LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A South Korea-based technology firm is the third battery industry supplier to announce plans to set up shop in Kentucky near two major electric vehicle battery plants.
Advanced Nano Products' U.S. subsidiary, ANP USA Inc., will spend nearly $50 million on a 50,000-square-foot facility on 22.6 acres on North Black Branch Road in Elizabethtown, Gov. Andy Beshear's office said Thursday.
Beshear said it's an example of many future economic spinoff effects from the two major battery factories planned by Ford-SK Innovation and by Envision AESC.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg," Beshear said during his weekly news conference Thursday.
Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Advanced Nano Products (ANP) will locate in Hardin County with a $49.6 million investment creating 93 high-wage jobs to supply battery producers including BlueOvalSK Battery Park.Read more: https://t.co/9ZTaJMBQi3 pic.twitter.com/HWaQp6BOF4— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) August 25, 2022
The Korean company will eventually employ 93 people with an average hourly wage of $35, according to the state economic development cabinet, which negotiated incentives worth $2.6 million to ANP USA over 10 years.
Jongmoo Lee, CEO of ANP USA, said the Elizabethtown plant will be the Korean company's first U.S. manufacturing facility.
Lee said the company produces "carbon-based nanomaterials" that improve battery life and density. Major battery makers such as LG Chem, Panasonic and SK Innovation are customers, Lee said.
"It's really important for the U.S. EV (electric vehicle) market and battery industry," Lee told WDRB News in a phone interview from ANP's U.S. office in California.
With automakers such as Ford and General Motors building battery plants and ramping up EV manufacturing, it was important for ANP to pick a central location for its U.S. operation, Lee said.
Lee said the company hopes to start work on the factory in January or February 2023.
Richard Games, president of Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation, said it's a good fit for the industrial park.
"We're just excited to see them come and get started with their project," Games said. "We'd like to say we've been very fortunate. This Blue Oval SK project, obviously is a game changer."
Last year, Ford and SK Innovation announced a joint venture to build a $5.8 billion battery plant in Glendale, Kentucky, which will employ about 5,000 people. BlueOvalSK Battery Park will make batteries used in Ford and Lincoln EVs.
Meanwhile, Japanese company Envision AESC plans a $2 billion battery "gigafactory" in Bowling Green, Kentucky, that will employ about 2,000.
The ANP factory follows two EV-related manufacturer announcements earlier this month.
Massachusetts-based Ascend Elements Inc. will establish a Hopkinsville, Kentucky, factory that could employ 250 people. The company makes "sustainable lithium-ion cathode material for EV batteries."
Meanwhile, LOTTE Aluminum Materials USA LLC will establish an Elizabethtown plant that makes an ultra-thin aluminum foil used in EV batteries. The plant could employ 122.
"There are people from other states that are suddenly looking at our area for workforce housing and for other things, retail and that sort of stuff," Games said. "So it's going to be a big driver of the economy."
WDRB News reporter Katrina Nickell contributed to this report.
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