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BlueOval projects in Tennessee, Kentucky move forward despite Michigan stoppage

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(The Center Square) – Ford has halted construction on an electric vehicle battery plant in Michigan but construction is ongoing and not interrupted on large-scale projects in Tennessee and Kentucky.

BlueOval SK said it couldn’t comment on the Michigan plant.

“We can tell you BlueOval SK is hiring,” a company spokesperson told The Center Square. “Construction at BlueOval SK in Tennessee and Kentucky is on schedule with battery production slated to begin in 2025.”

Work on the $3.5 billion electric battery plant in Marshall, Michigan, was halted as Ford said it wasn’t confident it could “competitively operate” the plant, set to receive $1.7 billion in public subsidies.

The $5.6 billion Tennessee project where Ford will build its e-lightning electric trucks received an $884 billion incentive from the Tennessee Legislature. Several suppliers, including Magna Seating and Cosma International, are receiving $13 million in incentives from the state to build three battery component facilities in Tennessee.

Clay Bright, CEO of the Megasite Authority of Tennessee, confirmed Wednesday to The Center Square he had not heard of any shutdowns at the Tennessee site.

Ford did not respond to a request for comment on the Kentucky and Tennessee facility’s progress from The Center Square.

BlueOval SK, the joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and SK On to produce electric vehicle batteries, has also continued to make progress on its $5.8 billion electric battery plant in Glendale, Kentucky.

BlueOval SK plans to build a 2.3-square-mile campus employing 5,000 workers at two plants in Glendale.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear visited the site in early August and saw how the company had put up 44,000 tons of steel, equal to the weight of nearly 200 Statues of Liberty.

“We are thankful to everyone at BlueOval SK and the nearly 2,600 construction workers onsite who have made significant construction progress, bringing Ford closer to its target of producing an annual run rate of 2 million electric vehicles globally by the end of 2026,” Beshear said in a statement after the visit.

The Michigan shutdown comes as the United Auto Workers strike at manufacturing facilities for the Big Three automakers. UAW leaders said Friday that progress has been made with Ford despite heightened efforts against General Motors and Stellantis.

The Center Square reporter Scott McClallen and contributor Steve Bittenbender contributed to this report.

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