Kokam breaks ground on battery production plant
Dow Kokam’s chief executive officer, Ravi
Shanker, was joined by vice president Joe Biden, Michigan Governor
Jennifer Granholm, The Dow Chemical Company chairman and CEO
Andrew Liveris and other dignitaries at a groundbreaking ceremony
to commemorate construction of Dow Kokam’s new advanced, large-format
battery production facility. The groundbreaking marks the first
phase of construction for the high-tech, world-scale manufacturing
facility, which will produce affordable lithium-ion batteries
to supply the growing electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid electric
vehicle (HEV) market.
According to Shanker, the new facility will enable the company
to bring to market the most reliable and consistent energy solutions
for its customers.
Dow Kokam envisions an 800,000 square-foot, large-format battery
manufacturing facility that will be developed in two overlapping
construction phases. When complete, the facility will employ
nearly 800 people, and have the capacity to manufacture 1.2 billion
watt hours of large-format affordable lithium-ion batteries –
enough to power 60,000 fully electric or hybrid electric vehicles
annually (assuming a 20 KWh battery system). The first phase
of construction, supported by a $161 million Department of Energy
(DOE) Recovery Act grant, has a targeted capacity of 600 million
watt hours and will employ up to 320 people at steady state.
Dow Kokam has committed to spend $322 million for the first phase
of construction. Development of the facility will provide more
than 1,000 regional construction jobs. When both phases of construction
are complete, the project will have lead to 2,720 direct and
indirect jobs, and the facility will require up to 800 full time
positions when fully operational.
The state of Michigan has invested more than $180 million in
tax incentives in the Dow Kokam joint venture to accelerate the
state and nation’s commercial success in advanced batteries.
In August of 2009, the DOE awarded Dow Kokam $161 million dollars
in federal grants as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act (ARRA) to build the production facility.
Prismatic lithium-ion batteries, to be produced in Midland, Michigan,
will provide greater volumetric and gravimetric energy density
than other battery technologies, and store up to three times
more energy than nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries currently
used in most hybrids.
Large-format battery cells made with Dow Kokam’s technology have
over ten years of proven operations life, while its pack design
capabilities have been proven in more than 1 million kilometers
of rigorous, on-the-road testing. Dow Kokam batteries have been
adopted as the primary power source for equipment in industries
ranging from transportation, marine, aerospace, defense and high-end