Ford and SK On have broken ground at BlueOval SK Battery Park, where their joint venture – BlueOval SK – has invested $5.8 billion to produce advanced electric vehicle (EV) batteries. This is for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles slated to start production in 2025.
The new facility will create 5,000 new jobs in Kentucky adding to Ford’s existing workforce of more than 12,000 in the Bluegrass state. Construction is on schedule at the two massive battery manufacturing facilities capable of collectively producing more than 80-gigawatt-hours annually.
Jee Dong-seob, SK On president and CEO, said: “BlueOval SK Battery Park will be at the core of the electrification of the North American auto market. We expect SK On and Ford’s leadership in the global electric vehicle market to be solidified through BlueOval SK.”
Significant construction progress at BlueOval SK Battery Park brings Ford closer to its target of producing an annual run rate of 2 million electric vehicles globally by the end of 2026.
Lisa Drake, Ford EV Industrialisation vice president, said: “Ford’s roots run deep in Kentucky, and BlueOval SK is going to help Ford to lead the EV revolution, bringing thousands of new, high-tech jobs to the Bluegrass State.
“Ford is building on more than a century of investment in Kentucky and its incredible workforce.”
BlueOval SK Battery Park will train 5,000 new workers at the new Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) BlueOval SK Training Center, located on the 1,500-acre BlueOval SK Battery Park site.
David Hahm, BlueOval SK CEO, said: “At BlueOval SK Battery Park, we’re building the future – state-of-the-art batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles and a bright future for the workforce in Kentucky.
“In order to produce these batteries, we need a premier workforce that is trained in the latest battery and advanced manufacturing technology.”
The ECTC BlueOval SK Training Center is the only co-branded learning facility within the Kentucky Community College System and represents a $25 million investment by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Andy Beshear, ” Kentucky Governor, said: “The partnership between Kentucky and Ford dates back more than a century, to the very dawn of the automobile industry. That bond grows even stronger today as we break ground on Ford and SK On’s BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County.
“As both the largest economic development project in our state’s history and part of the biggest investment ever by Ford, this project cements Kentucky’s status as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States.”
The curriculum within the 42,000-square-foot training facility will support battery knowledge, roles and skills. BlueOval SK will train employees in SK On’s proprietary technical, quality and manufacturing processes in the ECTC BlueOval SK Training Center’s virtual reality labs, industrial maintenance lab, work simulation lab and ergonomics techniques classrooms.
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) will begin construction of the ECTC BlueOval SK Training Center in 2023 and is scheduled to be completed in 2024.
Construction at BlueOval SK Battery Park Remains on Schedule
Significant progress has been made at the 2.3-square-mile battery manufacturing campus. To date, crews have:
- Moved 4.3 million cubic yards of soil, enough to fill 200 American football stadiums
- Laid 283,000 tons of stone, equivalent to the weight of nearly 1,350 locomotives
- Poured 66,000 cubic yards of concrete – enough to fill 356 backyard swimming pools
- Installed 3,300 tons of rebar ties to reinforce the concrete, equivalent to the weight of more than 470 elephants
- Installed 1,300 deep foundations, equal to the height of nearly 60 Empire State Buildings stacked end to end
- Erected 7,900 tons of structural steel, equivalent to the weight of nearly 400 fire trucks
Continued Commitment to the Community
Through the campus construction process, Ford and its construction partners continue to engage with communities in Kentucky through donations, sponsorships and volunteer efforts, building on Ford’s 109-year commitment to the state.
Ford Motor Company provided nearly $40,000 and manpower from its construction partners, Barton Malow Company and Gray Construction, to the city of Glendale, home to BlueOval SK Battery Park. The team refreshed many of the city’s parks and sidewalks, some of which had not been replaced in more than 100 years.
Ford’s construction partners also installed handicap-accessible ramps throughout Glendale and supported various projects locally with United Way of Central Kentucky, Feeding America and Habitat for Humanity throughout Central Kentucky. Ford donated $42,000 to the Glendale Volunteer Fire Department, increasing the department’s budget by more than 50 per cent. Ford also sponsored this year’s Glendale Crossing Festival.
Lisa Slaven, Hardin County Schools Transition Readiness Director, said: “Ford has been a pillar of the community in Kentucky for more than a century and now Glendale will write the next chapter.
“As an educator and member of this community, I view the building of BlueOval SK Battery Park as synonymous with creating new learning opportunities and skill sets for the careers of tomorrow for our students, our community and Kentucky.”