A major U.S.-based lithium-ion battery production company will make a $1 billion investment in Buckeye, Gov. Doug Ducey said at a press conference.
Headquartered in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Kore Power selected Buckeye for its new state-of-the-art, 1 million-square-foot manufacturing facility.
“Kore Power represents the cutting edge of clean energy technology,” Ducey said.
“Their new 1 million-square-foot facility will be the first lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility wholly owned by a U.S. company, and it will be located right here in the Valley of the Sun.”
The industrial production facility will contribute to the supply chain of American-made lithium-ion battery cells, which are used to fuel power grids and electric vehicles, among other things, according to Kore Power CEO Lindsay Gorrill.
Gorrill said Buckeye was chosen primarily for its pro-business environment, local economic development incentivization programs, available workforce and vibrant community.
Kore Power expects to bring over 3,000 “good-paying” jobs to Buckeye, according to Gorrill.
“The Kore Power announcement is more than just about that; it’s also about jobs,” Gorrill said.
“We will create about 3,500 jobs during the construction phase, and with the fourplexes in full production from approximately 3,000 direct jobs, we will also affect about 10,000 indirect jobs.”
Gorrill said Kore Power’s “aggressive goal” is to break ground by the end of the year and be fully functional by 2023.
“We’re here today, with a very strong and committed team, to deliver the battery cell technology necessary to revolutionize the energy, electric vehicle sectors in the United States,” Gorrill said.
Buckeye Mayor Eric Orsborn said Kore Power’s announcement comes at an ideal time for the United States’ second-fastest-growing city over the past 10 years, which Orsborn said is backed-up by current U.S. statistical data.
“Our population has grown from around 5,000 in the year 2000 to almost 100,000 today. The median age of our residents is 33 years old,” Orsborn said.
“Kore Power is investing nearly $1 billion in the city of Buckeye and bringing new economic energy to the entire city of Buckeye, especially to our historic downtown area.”
According to Orsborn, the massive Koreplex will sit on nearly 214 acres at the northeast corner of SR 85 and MC 85.
Orsborn said that in recent years, there has been a renaissance of sorts in Buckeye, especially among younger professionals who travel to the Valley for work.
The result, Orsborn said, is traffic on the reverse commute is as congested as or worse than traffic going into Phoenix.
“We could not be more excited about their (Kore Power) investment in Buckeye and 3,000 plus jobs coming into our community,” Orsborn said.
“The direct effect that has and then the indirect effect of the revitalization that is going to happen.”
To end his “thank-you” speech, Orsborn quoted Columbia University economist Joseph Stiglitz:
“‘Development is about transforming the lives of people, not just transforming economies.’ That is exactly what we’re here to celebrate.”