ENTEK, the only U.S.-owned and U.S.-based producer of ‘wet-process’ lithium-ion battery separator materials, recently broke ground on a new, $1.5 billion production facility in Terre Haute. The project, which marks the company’s largest investment thus far, will create up to 642 new, high-wage jobs by the end of 2027 and support the growing electric vehicle (EV) industry in Indiana and across the United States.
“Indiana is squarely focused on building an economy of the future, and this significant investment from ENTEK will continues the state’s economic leadership,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers. “This new giga-scale facility is a testament to our competitive business climate, quality workforce and continued investments in quality of place. With this news, Indiana continues its momentum in EVs and industry supporting the global energy transition.”
ENTEK, a global company headquartered in Lebanon, Oregon, will invest $1.5 billion to establish operations on a 350-acre greenfield site in the Vigo County Industrial Park II in Terre Haute. The company plans to initially construct four buildings covering 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 United States
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 is 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 enable ENTEK to scale its U.S. production, capable of supplying approximately 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.
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.
“It has been an incredible honor to work with Larry Keith, Kim Medford and the ENTEK team on this extraordinary opportunity for our community”, said Steve Witt, President of the Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation. “At the local level, we will do our utmost to help make ENTEK’s fabulous new project a success.”
ENTEK, established in 1984, is the only US-owned and US-based producer of ‘wet-process’ lithium-ion battery separator materials and is committed to the transformational expansion of its US lithium-ion battery separator footprint at a scale and a pace to meet the US DOE imperative for a sustainable and resilient domestic lithium battery supply chain. In addition to its energy storage division, which includes production of battery separators for lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries, ENTEK also manufactures equipment for the plastics industry and creates high-performance materials for a broad range of energy storage and functional membrane applications. The company is focused on moving the world forward through product and manufacturing innovation in vehicles, devices, homes, and new markets.