Home » New Hopkinsville EV battery facility breaks ground

New Hopkinsville EV battery facility breaks ground

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. — Leaders from Ascend Elements Inc., a manufacturer of advanced, sustainable battery materials made from recycled lithium-ion batteries, break ground of the company’s largest operation in the United States, which has grown in scope to include up to a nearly $1 billion investment creating as many as 400 full-time jobs.

In August, company leaders announced an investment of $310 million, creating 250 full-time jobs. Yesterday, Gov. Beshear congratulated the company on more than $480 million in federal grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to support increased production of EV batteries and associated materials in the United States. With a recipient match from Ascend Elements, the project has the potential to exceed $960 million in planned investment.

The investment establishes the operation as the company’s largest in the United States. Apex 1, as the operation is known, is located in a 450,000-square-foot facility on more than 140 acres in Hopkinsville’s Commerce Park II. The facility will include Ascend Elements’ innovative “hydro-to-cathode” process, a closed-loop direct precursor synthesis manufacturing system that generates no toxic waste and minimal carbon emissions. Once operational, the facility will produce enough recycled battery precursor and sustainable cathode active materials to equip up to 250,000 electric vehicles each year. The Hopkinsville operation will serve numerous EV-related customers and build on current partnerships, which include American Honda Motor Co., EcoPro Group and SK Battery America.

Company leaders anticipate Apex 1 will be operational in 2024 and create a $4.4 billion economic impact in Kentucky throughout construction and its first 10 years of operation. Jobs created at the facility will include engineers, chemists, warehouse associates and manufacturing operators.

“Today, we’ve begun building something that doesn’t exist anywhere in the United States – a domestic source of sustainable lithium-ion cathode material for EV batteries,” said Michael O’Kronley, CEO of Ascend Elements. “We’re in the middle of a global energy transformation, and it’s critical that we produce lithium-ion battery material in the United States. Our future energy independence and national security depend on it.”

Westborough, Massachusetts-based Ascend Elements was founded in 2015. The company raises the value of the battery supply chain by manufacturing advanced battery materials using valuable elements reclaimed from used lithium-ion batteries. Ascend Elements maintains a mission to return 100% of battery active materials for the production of new batteries and produces EV-grade, finished cathode active materials to meet or exceed performance requirements set by industry-leading brands.

In July, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) approved a 15-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program to encourage investment and job growth in the community. The performance-based agreement can provide tax incentives based on the company’s investment and annual job and wage targets.

KEDFA approved Ascend Elements for up to $2 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.

In addition, the company can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

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