ENTEK, a producer of ‘wet-process’ lithium-ion battery separator materials, announced plans to establish operations in Indiana and invest $1.5 billion in a new Terre Haute production facility.
The project, which marks the company’s largest investment thus far, will create up to 642 jobs by the end of 2027 and support the growing electric vehicle (EV) industry in Indiana and across the U.S.
ENTEK, a global company headquartered in Lebanon, Oregon, will invest $1.5 billion to establish operations on a 340-acre greenfield site in the Vigo County Industrial Park II in Terre Haute.
The company plans to initially construct four buildings covering approximately 1.4 million square feet – equipped with equipment built at current ENTEK manufacturing facilities in Oregon and Nevada and including specialty biaxial stretching equipment supplied by Brueckner Group USA – to manufacture battery separators for lithium-ion battery manufacturers across the U.S.
ENTEK’s site selection was focused on choosing both land and community. Larry Keith, ENTEK’s CEO, said, “We chose Terre Haute for many reasons including the excellent workforce opportunity, the incredible support provided by Steve Witt and the Economic Development Corporation, a nearly shovel ready construction site with available utilities located in an industrial park, excellent vocational education, and the business-friendly incentives from both the state and local governments.”
The campus, which will be fueled in part by a $200 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the recent Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help ENTEK to scale its U.S. production, capable of supplying 1.4 to 1.6 million EVs annually by 2027.
The new giga-scale lithium-ion battery separator operations will leverage ENTEK’s pioneering sustainable, state-of-the-art solvent extraction and recovery systems and processing techniques, and the company will work to utilize available renewable energy with a focus on a reduced carbon footprint. The company plans to break ground on the campus as soon as engineering and permitting is completed and launch its Indiana operations between 2025-2027.
“Indiana is one of the most manufacturing intensive states in the country," Congressman Larry Bucshon said. "As the only American company to own and produce ‘wet-process’ lithium-ion battery separator materials, ENTEK is going to help to pave the way for electric vehicle production in Indiana and reduce American manufacturers’ reliance on imported products."
This project is the first phase of ENTEK’s planned expansion to produce about 1.4 billion square meters of ceramic coated lithium separators across its operations. Phase 2 of the project will add up to an additional 1.8 billion square meters of battery separator produced annually for a total of 3.2 billion square meters which will provide enough separators for about 3.5 million electric vehicles.
ENTEK, which employs more than 1,000 associates globally, plans to create more than 640 new jobs in Terre Haute during this Phase 1 expansion with average wages well above the Vigo County average. The company expects to begin hiring for key leadership positions in 2024 to facilitate recruitment of numerous associates throughout the operation including production, maintenance, electricians, human resources, accounting, IT, safety, and environmental Each of these associates will be crucial to ENTEK’s growth and the organization’s role in securing our domestic supply chain for electric vehicles.