Study on Ford’s BlueOval SK shows growth impact it will have in Kentucky

(Credit: Ford)

A study on Ford’s $5.8 billion BlueOval SK battery park shows the growth impact it will have in Kentucky. The Hardin County Chamber of Commerce (HCCC) recently released a long-term economic impact study it commissioned to show the effects Ford’s BlueOval SK Battery park would have on Elizabethtown, Hardin County, and the state of Kentucky. 

“With the impending arrival of BlueOval SK and the prospect of 5,000 new jobs, it was crucial for HCCC, a conduit for regional business growth, to gain a deeper understanding of future implications,” said HCCC President and CEO Marty Moorman.

The study found that Ford and South Korean battery supplier SK On’s battery facility in Kentucky will be one of the largest in the world—in terms of square footage. It will be the 10th largest manufacturing site in the world, right behind Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai. However, compared to other electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing sites, BlueOval SK is the largest in the world and is projected to have the most capacity at 86 GWh.

The HCCC held an August Membership Luncheon where it shared some details of the study, listed below. 

  • an anticipated population surge of 22,380 in Hardin County, 
  • an expected direct payroll (including fringe benefits) of $3.63 billion at the battery park from 2026 to 2035, 
  • an anticipated need for 8,811 new housing units in Hardin County, 
  • an expected total of 3,901 new K-12 students and 
  • a projected need for 75 new hospital beds, 389 new hospital jobs, and 380 new ambulatory care jobs.

“With projections that include substantial population growth, increased employment opportunities, and a boost to various sectors of the local economy, this report sheds light on the kind of growth this region should expect and hopefully can influence and guide local businesses and organizations to implement strategies to appropriately grow in tandem,” noted L.B. Schmidt and Associates President Luke Schmidt who presented details of the report during the luncheon. 

The growth generated by BOSK will significantly impact the Elizabethtown Metro. The study found that each billion dollars spent on construction will support 11,600 jobs annually in the region. BOSK has an estimated employment multiplier of 1.603 for a total of 8,016 jobs. By EOY 2026, Ford’s BlueOval SK battery plan will have a direct plant payroll of $265 million or $363 million, including fringe benefits. From 2026 to 2035, the BOSK facility is projected to have a direct payroll impact of $2.65 billion or $3.63 billion, including fringe benefits.

Some of the key projections for BOSK are listed below. 

  • Battery plant construction period: 2022 through 2024; investment of $5.8 billion with an average of 4,500 construction jobs over three years with an average annual pay of $50,000 
  • The plant will begin battery production by EOY 2024 with 2,500 full-time employees; EOY 2025 with 5,000 full-time employees with average annual pay of $53,000; with fringe benefits: $73,000* 
  • Battery plant will attract several new supplier/support businesses to Hardin County.

Read the full study below.

HCCC Impact Study on Ford's BlueOval SK EV Battery Park by Maria Merano on Scribd

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Maria Merano: Veteran writer and editor, who believes harmony between tech and nature is achievable. We just need to learn to compromise.
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