In December 2017, power technology producer EnerBlu announced plans to open a $372 million battery manufacturing plant in Pikeville, Ky., in 2020.
The Eastern Kentucky economy, which has faced a sharp decline in coal jobs, would benefit from the economic diversification the plant would bring, according to state Sen. Ray Jones.
EnerBlu projects the one million-square-foot plant would be located on a reclaimed surface mine and employ 875 people in its fourth year. The company also plans to move its headquarters and research and development work to Lexington early this year and employ 110 people, making their total investment in Kentucky over $400 million.
According to the Lexington Herald Leader, state officials are hopeful that the project could put many of the laid-off miners back to work and increase demand for local housing.
The plant would be the first in the United States to make rechargeable lithium-titanate oxide batteries, which will power electric transit buses, commercial trucks, military vehicles and other equipment.
While lithium-ion batteries have shown significant environmental impacts, not much is known about the effects of lithium-titanate oxide batteries.