Entek picks Terre Haute for battery film plant

March 22, 2023
The $1.5 billion production plant in Indiana is expected to begin manufacturing between 2025 and 2027.

By Bruce Geiselman

Lebanon, Ore.-based Entek has selected Terre Haute, Ind., as the site of a new $1.5 billion production plant for lithium-ion battery separator film.

The plant will create 642 high-wage jobs by the end of 2027 and support the growing electric vehicle industry in the United States, according to Entek officials. The company plans to begin hiring key leadership employees in 2024 to help with the recruitment of production, maintenance, human resources, accounting, IT, safety and environmental workers as well as electricians.

Entek CEO Larry Keith credited the site location, available workforce and economic incentives for the company’s selection.

“We chose Terre Haute for many reasons including the excellent workforce opportunity, the incredible support provided by [Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation President] Steve Witt and the Economic Development Corporation, a nearly shovel-ready construction site with available utilities located in an industrial park, excellent vocational education, and the business-friendly incentives from both the state and local governments,” Keith said in a press release.

Entek will develop its plant on a 340-acre greenfield site in the Vigo County Industrial Park II in Terre Haute. The company plans to initially construct four buildings covering approximately 1.4 million square feet. The battery separator film will be manufactured with extrusion equipment built at Entek manufacturing facilities in Oregon and Nevada, and include biaxial stretching equipment supplied by Brueckner Group USA. The battery separators manufactured at the plant will be sold to lithium-ion battery manufacturers across the United States.

Entek plans to break ground as soon as engineering and permitting is completed and start manufacturing operations between 2025 and 2027.

“This is a great day for Terre Haute and for the state of Indiana,” Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said in a press release. “Entek’s decision to locate a new $1.5 billion battery component manufacturing facility here will have a transformational impact on the West Central Indiana community and the Hoosier economy for generations to come. This decision cements Indiana’s leadership in the electric vehicle supply chain sector, and we are thrilled to partner with Entek to speed the commercialization of U.S.-built EVs.”

The U.S. Department of Energy provided Entek with a $200 million grant to help Entek scale up its production of lithium battery separators. The company, across its operations, plans to supply enough ceramic-coated lithium battery separator film (1.4 billion square meters) to enable the manufacturing of 1.4 to 1.6 million EVs annually by 2027.

In addition to the federal grant, Entek and Indiana officials announced the company could receive millions of dollars in state incentives. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation, pending final approval from its board of directors, will offer Entek up to $8 million in incentive-based tax credits and up to $300,000 in training grants, based on the company’s job-creation plans. The IEDC also committed up to $200,000 in innovation grants; up to $200,000 in Manufacturing Readiness Grants, and up to $5 million in conditional structured performance payments. Vigo County is considering additional incentives and Duke Energy has offered incentives to offset a portion of the plant’s energy bills.

Construction of the Terre Haute plant marks the first phase of Entek’s two-phase plan for expanding battery separator film production. Phase 2 will add up to another 1.8 billion square meters of battery separator film produced annually for a total of 3.2 billion square meters, enough for about 3.5 million electric vehicles.

Information about the site for the Phase 2 expansion was not detailed in the company’s announcement of the Terre Haute site for Phase 1. However, Keith, during a February press conference, said that Entek was considering building plants in Indiana and Alabama. Spreading out the film manufacturing sites could help protect the supply chain in case of a natural disaster or other event that could interrupt production, Keith said at the time. 

Bruce Geiselman, senior staff reporter


Entek, Lebanon, Ore., 541-259-3901, www.entek.com 

About the Author

Bruce Geiselman | Senior Staff Reporter

Senior Staff Reporter Bruce Geiselman covers extrusion, blow molding, additive manufacturing, automation and end markets including automotive and packaging. He also writes features, including In Other Words and Problem Solved, for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. He has extensive experience in daily and magazine journalism.

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