Most costs will come from construction

Tennessee – According to a release by the Loan Programs Office (LPO), BlueOval SK LLC (BOSK) Ford battery plants planned for Tennessee and Kentucky are “on track” to receive up to 9.2 billion in federal loans. 

Most costs will come from construction, and it is the largest amount awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy since Joe Biden took office. The two plants are to be built through a joint venture with SK On, a South Korean battery partner, and the project is expected to create a total of approximately 5,000 construction jobs in Tennessee and Kentucky, and 7,500 operations jobs.  

“LPO works with all borrowers to create good-paying jobs with strong labor standards during construction, operations, and throughout the life of the loan and to adhere to a strong Community Benefits Plan,’ according to the release.

The project supports President Biden’s “Justice40 Initiative” which established the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments, including LPO financing, go to DOE-identified disadvantaged communities (DACs). The Tennessee site is in a DAC, and communities surrounding both Kentucky sites are identified as DACs. 

The plant will be able to build up to 500,000 electric trucks a year. According to the independent, The three battery plants combined are expected to create 5,000 construction jobs, as well as 7,500 operations jobs once the plants are up and running.

Through Ford’s workforce development team and BOSK (the joint venture between Ford Motor Company and SK On), the Tennessee and Kentucky state governments are developing curricula that support new technical schools in Kentucky and Tennessee to train members of the community for quality jobs at those facilities.

“We’re thrilled the Department of Energy joins BlueOval SK in our vision to electrify the future of mobility,” Robert Rhee, BlueOval SK’s CEO, said in a statement to media outlets. “BlueOval SK will use this loan to its fullest as we create 7,500 good American jobs, strengthen critical domestic supply chains, and produce high-quality batteries for future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles here in Tennessee and Kentucky.”

There are more steps needed before the deal becomes final, however.

“While this conditional commitment demonstrates DOE’s intent to finance the project, several steps remain for the project to reach critical milestones,” according to the release, “and certain conditions must be satisfied before DOE issues a final loan.” 

Photo courtesy of the State of Tennessee.

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