VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — An exciting day for Vigo County and the state of Indiana – that was the collective message spoken by numerous state, local, and company officials as ENTEK held a groundbreaking for its upcoming $1.5B lithium battery separator manufacturing facility.

The investment is ENTEK’s largest investment to date. The groundbreaking began at 10 a.m. Wednesday with comments from company officials about why they chose Vigo County to house the planned 345-acre facility.

Larry Keith, CEO of ENTEK, said they looked at several building sites but after meeting local leaders he said the decision to come to Terre Haute was easy.

“They’re just very welcoming. The education system here in this state is top-notch. Ivy Tech and all the other high-level education was just amazing to us,” Keith said.

ENTEK is the only US-owned and operated manufacturer of wet-process lithium-ion battery separators. Battery separators are in every battery and allow the battery to function. The Terre Haute facility will focus on separators for electric vehicles.

“This is exactly where the state of Indiana strategically is leaning into, this very space, the future of mobility,” Governor Eric Holcomb said.

“They’re on the cutting edge of technology but they’ve also been in business for 40 years,” Steve Witt, President of Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation said.

Governor Holcomb said this will have a transformational impact on the West Central Indiana community for generations to come. “This is economic development, economic security for sure. But it also has some National security implications. When we’re talking about re-shoring jobs in America and again to have them come to the heart of the heartland, in Indiana, in Vigo County, we’re on a roll,” Holcomb added.

The group says the construction of the facility will create 600 jobs and then the facility itself is expected to create 640 new jobs by the end of 2027. ENTEK says they’ll start hiring next year.

“We want a broad diverse workforce,” Kim Medford, President of ENTEK manufacturing said.

“We want to make our community grow,” Witt said. “We want to give people a reason to move here, to find employment here, to live here, to go to our schools,” he added.

“To have ENTEK’s corporate flag planted right here in this field of dreams is going to be a field of reality pretty soon for a lot of Hoosiers that are going to go to work here,” Holcomb said.

Governor Eric Holcomb

Governor Eric Holcomb spoke about what an exciting opportunity this facility is for not only the local area but the state as a whole as he promoted the Hoosier state as the number one state for manufacturing per capita.

“I couldn’t be more proud and grateful. To Vigo County, welcome to the billion-dollar Indiana club,” Holcomb said.

The site is located just south of Dallas Drive in Vigo County.

Larry Bucshon

Representative Larry Bucshon echoed the Governor’s sentiments in explaining that the officials at ENTEK recognize the importance of American-made products.

State Senator Jon Ford

State Senator Jon Ford, who represents Terre Haute, said the Wabash Valley is here and ready to help grow the frontier of electric vehicles.

“It’s exciting! 600 high-paying technology jobs that will put us at the forefront of the new frontier of EVs,” Ford said.

Vigo County Commissioner Chris Switzer and representatives from Senator Mike Braun and Todd Young’s office also made remarks.

The Clayco organization will be tasked with constructing the facility. Clayco President Anthony Johnson said that his company is excited to bring this facility to the community.

“The business of building has a lot to do with numbers, but at Clayco it has more to do with the community, people, and businesses with whom we work,” Johnson said.

Johnson explained that the facility will sit on 345 acres of land, require 80,000 cubic yards of concrete, and 600 construction jobs to complete. Johnson said the space inside the facility could house 33 NFL football fields.

“We’re building a space where careers will be made,” Johnson said.