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Developers Announce Two New Facilities to Produce Battery Components

American Battery Factory

Two developers have revealed plans for new U.S. production facilities dedicated to lithium battery components designed for increased durability and that are free from nickel or cobalt. The two commodities currently have supply chains heavily dependent on China.

American Battery Factory has started construction of a $1.2 billion, 2-million-square-foot gigafactory, along with its future headquarters in Tucson, Arizona. The facility will manufacture lithium iron phosphate battery cells- projecting the global market for lithium batteries to reach $105 billion by 2025, with potential demand growing tenfold in the next decade. These lithium-iron phosphate battery cells offer extended lifespan at a cheaper cost compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries.

Utilizing modular construction techniques featuring LEED-qualified tensioned fabric, Sprung Instant Structures of West Jordan, Utah, is set to complete the first-phase headquarters, research and development center, and a 1,500-foot-long assembly line area by 2025. At peak construction levels the project is expected to employ approximately 140 construction workers across four planned stages.

Situated on a 267-acre site within the Aerospace Research Campus, the plant is projected to generate about 1,000 jobs at full staffing and contribute $3.1 billion to the annual statewide economic impact. Governor Katie Hobbs said in a statement that the groundbreaking “represents a significant milestone for Arizona’s battery industry,” and labeled the investment "transformational."

Meawhile in San Diego, Wildcat Discovery Technologies unveiled plans for a $300 million U.S.-based plant. This facility will focus on producing nickel and cobalt free integrated cathodes. The company, specializing in battery materials research since 2006, plans to announce the plant site, designer-architect, and general contractor in early 2024.

“After 15 years of battery materials research, our new purpose is to produce high-performance U.S.-made cathodes to enable widespread adoption of clean energy,” said Wildcat President and CEO Mark Gresser in a statement. He added that the company has completed solutions for battery components in 225 projects and 400,000 experiments in multiple industries. He stated that the company has finalized solutions for battery components across 225 projects and conducted 400,000 experiments spanning various industries.

Read full story on Engineering News-Record

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