Microvast Holdings Inc. said it will invest $504 million in the creation of a polyaramid separator plant in Hopkinsville, Ky.
The battery manufacturer of Texas makes lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems. The project will create up to 562 new full-time jobs, the company said.
“We intend to build the world’s first mass production facility for our cutting edge polyaramid separator technology,” Microvast CEO Yang Wu said in a statement.
“This material took over 10 years to develop internally and we believe it offers significant safety advantages compared to other polypropylene or polyethylene separator technology available today. We are pleased to expand our manufacturing footprint into Kentucky as it continues to position itself as a leader in EV manufacturing and are eager to work closely with the local community as we begin construction.”
Construction on a 100-acre site in Commerce Park II in Hopkinsville will begin in 2023 and is anticipated to conclude in 2025.
The campus will include a collaboration with General Motors and is expected to be partly funded by a $200 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the company said in a statement.
“We expect the safety advantages of our innovative, highly thermally stable polyaramid separators to transform high-energy lithium ion battery development and drive significant value for the industry,” said Dr. Wenjuan Mattis, chief technology officer at Microvast.
Microvast’s patented polyaramid separator can resist temperatures over 572 degrees Fahrenheit. This resistance, paired with high porosity, wettability and electrolyte retention, improves the overall safety, fast-charging and cycle-life of lithium ion EV batteries, the company said in a release.