EENTEK, the only U.S.-owned and U.S.-based producer of ‘wet-process’ lithium-ion battery separator materials, announced plans today to establish operations in Indiana, investing $1.5 billion in a new Terre Haute production facility. 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.

“This is a great day for Terre Haute and for the state of Indiana,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “ENTEK’s decision to locate a new, $1.5 billion battery component manufacturing facility here will have a transformational impact on the West Central Indiana community and the Hoosier economy for generations to come. This decision cements Indiana’s leadership in the electric vehicle supply chain sector, and we are thrilled to partner with ENTEK to speed the commercialization of U.S.-built EVs.” 

“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. 

Pending approval from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) board of directors, the IEDC, will commit an investment in ENTEK of up to $8 million in the form of incentive-based tax credits and up to $300,000 in training grants, based on the company’s job creation plans. The IEDC also committed an investment of up to $200,000 in innovation grants; up to $200,000 in Manufacturing Readiness Grants, which help companies invest in smart manufacturing and new technologies; and up to $5 million in conditional structured performance payments. These investments are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired. Vigo County is considering additional incentives to support the project; Duke Energy also offered additional incentives to offset a portion of the energy costs. 

ENTEK has over 35 years of experience producing battery separators for batteries to support electric, advanced start-stop and standard vehicles, trucks, emergency vehicles, emergency backup power, utility scale energy storage, and industrial batteries.  ENTEK has more than two decades of experience as the only US owned and US based producer of ‘wet-process’ separator for lithium batteries and continues to invest in the future of the domestic lithium battery industry. ENTEK is also a vertically integrated designer and manufacturer of extruders and material handling equipment for the production of battery separators and many other non-ENTEK applications.