Specialist producer of lithium-ion batteries 6K Energy has commenced construction on a new multi-chemistry cathode manufacturing plant in Tennessee, US.

The start of construction follows shortly after the company announced plans to establish a battery material manufacturing plant in the city of Jackson.

Attendees of the ground-breaking ceremony included Tennessee’s governor Bill Lee, Economic and Community Development state commissioner Stuart McWhorter, as well as 6K’s CEO Aaron Bent and its president Sam Trinch.

The company has also announced strategic partnerships with global design and construction businesses for the realisation of this ‘PlusCAM’ facility.

Koch Project Solutions will oversee the construction project’s programme management.

Ghafari will provide expertise in battery material and motor vehicle architectural design while Evans General Contractors will spearhead the construction efforts.

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Trinch said: “Our PlusCAM facility is the world’s most sustainable process that fulfils the need for domestically sourced low-cost battery material for our nation’s critical infrastructure, grid storage, and electric vehicles.

“Having representatives here at the ground-breaking such as our prospective customers, materials suppliers, design and construction partners as well as governor Lee and his team of Tennessee state and county officials underscores the importance of delivering low-cost battery materials.”

The factory will hold an annual production capacity of 13,000 tonnes and will be the first UniMelt plasma cathode plant worldwide.

The company aims to support the production of cost-effective and highly sustainable battery materials to help local supply chains across the US.

Furthermore, 6K Energy has revealed plans to secure a substantial grant of $50m from the country’s Department of Energy to aid in financing the factory, which is expected to exceed $200m in its total cost.

Lee said: “6K Energy’s decision to invest more than $200m in Jackson is a testament to Tennessee’s unmatched business climate, highly skilled workforce and position as a leader in the automotive industry. I thank 6K Energy for creating 230 new jobs to provide greater opportunity to Tennesseans across Madison County.”

The plant is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2024.