March 23, 2023: ENTEK is to invest $1.5 billion in building a new lithium ion battery separator production facility in the US state of Indiana, the company announced on March 22.
The Terre Haute plant, on a 340-acre greenfield site, will be the biggest investment to date by the US-based producer of wet-process lithium-ion battery separator materials, in support of the growing EV industry in Indiana and across the country.
ENTEK’s announcement came almost a year after it unveiled plans to build two giga-scale EV battery separator plants in the US.
Terre Haute will be the first phase of ENTEK’s planned expansion with the goal of producing about 1.4 billion m2 of ceramic coated lithium separators across its operations.
The second phase of the project will add up to an additional 1.8 billion m2 of battery separators produced annually for a total of 3.2 billion m2, which ENTEK said will provide enough separators for about 3.5 million EVs.
The company plans to break ground on the site as soon as engineering and permitting is completed and to launch operations between 2025 and 2027.
ENTEK will initially build four buildings, covering about 1.4 million ft2 (130,000 m2) They will have equipment supplied by existing ENTEK Manufacturing facilities in Oregon and Nevada.
Equipment will include speciality biaxial stretching equipment supplied by Brueckner Group USA — to produce battery separators for lithium ion battery manufacturers across the country.
ENTEK CEO Larry Keith said Terre Haute is a nearly shovel-ready construction site that would benefit from business-friendly incentives from state and local governments.
Support for the project will include a $200 million grant from the US Department of Energy as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
ENTEK said this would help the firm to scale its US production with a capability to supply 1.4 to 1.6 million EVs annually by 2027.
The new giga-scale lithium ion battery separator operations will deploy the company’s solvent extraction and recovery systems and processing techniques.