Saturday, July 13, 2024

ENTEK Receives $1.2 Billion DOE Loan for EV Battery Separator Plant

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s loans office has granted a conditional loan of up to $1.2 billion to ENTEK Lithium Separators LLC for the establishment of a new manufacturing plant in Terre Haute, Indiana. The facility aims to produce lithium-ion battery separators, essential for enhancing the performance and safety of electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

According to ENTEK CEO Larry Keith, “There has never been a more exciting time to be a manufacturer in the battery industry.” The project is expected to support the production of separators capable of servicing approximately 1.9 million mid-size EVs or 1.3 million electric SUVs, based on current preferences of battery cell manufacturers.

The initiative is projected to create more than 760 construction jobs and 635 operational jobs locally, highlighting its economic impact on the region.

“If finalized, the loan would be offered through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, which has $40 billion in direct lending authority,” said a spokesperson for the Loan Programs Office (LPO). The separators manufactured at the plant will cater to all existing lithium-ion EV battery chemistries, ensuring broad applicability across the industry.

The DOE estimates that by 2030, the North American lithium-ion EV battery industry will require annual separator production of 7 to 10 billion square meters. The exact timeline for finalizing the loan remains unclear.

In a separate initiative, the DOE previously announced intentions to provide up to $9.2 billion to the Ford SK joint venture for constructing three new battery manufacturing plants, yet that loan has not been finalized.

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