Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. and South Korea’s SK On have broken ground at BlueOval SK Battery Park, where their joint venture — BlueOval SK — will invest $5.8 billion to produce advanced batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles (EVs).
The plant is scheduled to start production in 2025 and create 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,” says 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. 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.
“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,” says Lisa Drake, vice president, Ford EV industrialization. “Ford is building on more than a century of investment in Kentucky and its incredible workforce.”
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.
“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,” says 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 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.
Individuals interested in learning more about employment at BlueOval SK Battery Park can click here.
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, laid 283,000 tons of stone, poured 66,000 cubic yards of concrete, installed 3,300 tons of rebar ties to reinforce the concrete, installed 1,300 deep foundations, and erected 7,900 tons of structural steel.
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 provided nearly $40,000 and manpower from its construction partners — Barton Malow in Southfield and Gray Construction — to the city of Glendale. 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 percent. Ford also sponsored this year’s Glendale Crossing Festival.
“Ford has been a pillar of the community in Kentucky for more than a century and now Glendale will write the next chapter,” says Lisa Slaven, Hardin County Schools transition readiness director. “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.”