Ford and SK On have broken ground at BlueOval SK Battery Park, where their joint venture – BlueOval SK – has invested $5.8 bln to produce advanced batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles, slated to start production in 2025, creating 5,000 new jobs in Kentucky.
Construction is on schedule at the two massive battery manufacturing facilities capable of collectively producing more than 80 gigawatt hours annually.
“BlueOval SK Battery Park will be at the core of the electrification of the North American auto market,”
said Jee Dong-seob, SK On president and CEO.
“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.
“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,”
said Lisa Drake, vice president, Ford EV Industrialization,
“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 Centre, located on the 1,500-acre BlueOval SK Battery Park site.
“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,”
said David Hahm, BlueOval SK CEO.
“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 Centre is the only co-branded learning facility within the Kentucky Community College System and represents a US$25 mln investment by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
“The partnership between Kentucky and Ford dates back more than a century, to the very dawn of the automobile industry,”
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said.
“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.