Electric Vehicle Battery Materials Plant Will Create 250 Jobs and $310 Million Investment in Hopkinsville







An artist’s render shows what Ascend Elements’ Apex 1 installation in Hopkinsville will look like.




HOPKINSVILLE, KY – A company that recovers old lithium-ion batteries and recycles them into sustainable battery materials has announced that it will locate its largest US factory in Hopkinsville, creating 250 full-time jobs and investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the project.

Governor Andy Beshear said Ascend Elements will invest $310 million in the Christian County facility in the first phase, and future phases could bring the company’s total investment to $1 billion and create up to to 400 jobs in total.

Announcing the company’s decision to establish a plant in Hopkinsville, Beshear said the facility will be the largest economic development in Graves County’s history.

“I am incredibly proud of how we in Kentucky have taken the initiative to ensure that our state is a leader in the automotive industry of the future,” Beshear said in a statement. “The addition of Ascend Elements to Hopkinsville is a terrific step toward solidifying that foundation even further. This is a company focused on sustainable growth and one that will benefit so many other businesses in our state and from across North America. I welcome Ascend Elements to Kentucky and thank its leaders for their commitment to our talented workforce.

The facility will be called Apex 1. The governor’s office says it will occupy 450,000 square feet on more than 140 acres in Commerce Park II in Hopkinsville.

In a press release about the project, Ascend Elements says it considered more than 50 sites, and the Hopkinsville site was the only one that met all of the company’s requirements. “The site offers easy access to transportation, clean renewable energy and a diverse workforce. Proximity to electric vehicle manufacturers and lithium-ion battery factories in the southeastern United States was another key requirement,” the statement said. “Additionally, the Ascend Elements Base 1 Battery Recycling Facility in Covington, Georgia is a key source of recycled battery feedstock (black mass) for the Apex 1 facility.”

According to the governor’s office, the facility will produce enough recycled battery precursors and sustainable cathode active materials to power up to 250,000 electric vehicles each year, using a manufacturing system that the company says creates zero toxic waste and minimal carbon emissions.

The Hopkinsville plant is expected to be operational in 2024. Jobs there will include engineers, chemists, warehouse associates and manufacturing operators. Apex 1 will serve American Honda Motor Company, SK Battery America and other businesses related to electric vehicle production, the governor’s office said.

Ascend Elements expects the plant to have an economic impact of $4.4 billion in Kentucky, including construction and the plant’s first decade of operation.

Last week, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval to a 15-year deal with Ascend Elements under the state’s Enterprise Investment Program. Beshear’s office says this deal can provide up to $7.5 million in tax incentives based on the company’s $310 million investment and if it meets annual goals, including creating and sustaining 250 full-time jobs for Kentuckians over 15 years and paying an average wading pool of $34 an hour including benefits.

The state has also approved up to $2 million in tax incentives for the facility through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act. This law allows businesses to recoup state sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, research and development equipment and electronic processing, the governor’s office said.

Additionally, Beshear’s office says the company can use resources from state labor service providers, such as free recruiting and placement services, low-cost customized training, and incentives for vocational training.

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