Article

Arizona KOREPlex Battery Manufacturing Plant

KOREPlex is opening a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Arizona that will be operated by electrical hardware and automatic software made in the United States.

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An aerial view of the city of Buckeye, Arizona, with mountains in the background.
An aerial view of Buckeye, Arizona, where the KOREPlex battery factory will be built, on June 8, 2023. (Getty/Mario Tama)
Snapshot
  • Project name: KOREPlex

  • Program: U.S. Department of Energy Loan Program Office’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Program

  • Law: N/A

  • Recipient: KORE Power

  • Investment amount: $1,200,000,000

  • City: Buckeye

  • State: Arizona

  • Congressional districts: 7 and 9

  • Construction start date: 2022

  • Jobs created: 3,000 full-time jobs, 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, and 3,400 construction jobs

This profile is part of a project that finds and tracks the public and private sector investments generated or supported by three of the Biden administration’s economic laws. These laws make investments in the American people, helping to grow the middle class, lowering the cost of living, and setting up America to better compete and cooperate in the world. Pulling directly from several sources, this catalog provides users with publicly available information such as the number of jobs created, workforce training partnerships, and storytellers benefiting from particular projects, among other detailed information. The profile below expands on the economic, practical, and climate impacts of just one of the 35,000 investments that can be found in the Biden Administration Investment Tracker. It may be updated to account for future project developments.

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More than $1 billion, including an $850 million federal loan, will go toward opening the new KOREPlex battery factory in Maricopa County, Arizona—the first lithium-ion facility owned wholly by an American company. This plant will employ 3,000 people and produce lithium-ion batteries to power homes in a clean and efficient manner. KOREPlex is aiming to be a net-zero facility, as clean and carbon-free as possible.

Historical context

  • KORE Power, the leading developer in U.S.-based battery cell technology, picked Arizona based on its proximity to complimentary industries:
    • “KORE Power is the leading U.S.-based developer of battery cell technology for the energy storage and electric transportation industries. Founded in 2018, the company leveraged the experience of its contract manufacturing partner to build and deploy more than 10 million battery cells to its global customer base. … KORE Power landed on Maricopa County after a national site search and evaluation of the energy storage, manufacturing and electric transportation opportunities across the country. The Arizona site offered proximity to complimentary industries such as e-mobility, solar, semiconductor, and utilities, workforce and logistics capacity, and a pro-business tax and regulatory environment.” – Arizona Commerce Authority, July 29, 2021
  • KOREPlex will be the first U.S.-owned lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility:
    • The plant will be “the first lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility wholly owned by a U.S. company.” – Arizona Commerce Authority, July 29, 2021

Project summary

  • KORE Power is building a manufacturing facility that will produce lithium-ion batteries. The facility will be energy smart and feature electrical hardware and automation software created in the United States:
    • “KORE Power, Inc. has finalized the purchase of 214 acres in Buckeye, Arizona which will be the site of the KOREPlex, a two million square foot manufacturing facility which will have the capacity to produce 12 GWh of lithium-ion battery cells annually.” – KORE Power, April 6, 2022
    • “Siemens Smart Infrastructure will provide critical electrical infrastructure and energy management solutions that automate and digitalize building operations, guaranteeing the future gigafactory is intelligent from the outside in.” – Arizona Technology Council, March 6, 2023
  • The U.S. Department of Energy supported this project through an $850 million loan as part of a $1 billion total investment. “Coeur D’alene, Idaho-based KORE Power Inc. is expected to receive an $850 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy for its new battery factory in the Phoenix metro. The battery cell developer announced Friday that it has received a conditional commitment for the loan through the department’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program, which provides loans for eligible vehicle and qualifying components manufacturing. The funds will be put toward the construction of KORE Power’s battery cell manufacturing facility called KOREPlex, which will total 1.3 million square feet in its first phase near State Route 85 and Baseline Road in Buckeye, about 40 minutes west of downtown Phoenix. The first phase will represent an investment of more than $1 billion and produce 6 gigawatt-hours of high-density cells to support electric vehicles and energy storage systems in the U.S. using nickel manganese cobalt and lithium-ion iron phosphate.” – Phoenix Business Journal, June 9, 2023

Outcomes, improvements, and practical impact

  • By enabling KORE Power to create more batteries that can meet increased demand for batteries and power more homes, the new complex will strengthen the supply chain both for batteries and for energy security in the United States:
    • The new facility will “ensure a reliable and independent U.S. supply chain for lithium-ion battery cells that are critical to the future of electric vehicles, power grids and more. The facility will have the capacity to produce enough power for 3.2 million homes each year. … the new KOREPlex facility will add to the company’s current annual production capacity of 2 GWh that is in the process of scaling up to 6 GWh to serve the rapidly growing battery market.”– KORE Power, April 6, 2022
    • “Lithium-ion batteries undergird everything from iPhones to energy storage, and their importance spans nearly every industry. This is increasingly true as technology develops further and people across the world become more digitally integrated. China currently dominates lithium-ion battery supply chains, while the United States lags behind, ranked 6th place globally.” – Chamber Business News, August 11, 2021

Climate impact

  • One of KORE Power’s goals is to make the complex the first net-zero battery factory:
    • “KORE’s goal is to make the KOREPlex the world’s first net zero Gigafactory by using on-site solar then adding co-generation capacity in the future, through energy storage. Randy Cowder, KORE Power’s Sr. Vice President of Manufacturing, who recently moved to the area, said lithium-ion battery manufacturing is not a water-intensive process. ‘Our conversations with the City of Buckeye have shown us that we will be using less water than other industrial facilities, and this will not be a facility with stacks billowing smoke. We are a green company committed to sustainability,’ he said.”– City of Buckeye, Arizona, May 26, 2023

Economic impact 

  • The complex will bring thousands of construction jobs to the area; once completed, it will employ more than 3,000 full-time workers and generate additional direct and indirect jobs:
    • “KORE Power plans to employ more than 3,000 full-time personnel at the facility, which will generate upwards of an estimated 10,000 direct and indirect jobs. The construction of KOREPlex will employ an estimated 3,400 workers during peak construction.” – KORE Power, April 6, 2022
    • “The facility will open with two lines which will each require about 750 jobs, an additional two lines will be added in the future with another 1,500 jobs including supervisors and senior staff.”– Buckeye AZ, May 26, 2023
    • This means more than $1.5 billion in direct economic impact for the city. According to some estimates, the complex could “yield an estimated $1.66 billion in direct economic impact output for the city over five years. It is anticipated that indirect revenues could total $173 million for the city and $537 million for the region.” – Business Facilities, February 15, 2022

Official supporting statements

  • U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ): “I join all Arizonans in welcoming to our state KORE Power and its new manufacturing site that will create thousands of new jobs. Arizona is positioned to lead the nation on increasing America’s competitiveness in battery technology, and I will continue supporting this vital industry.” – Arizona Commerce Authority, July 29, 2021
  • U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ): “KORE Power’s expansion to Arizona will bring thousands of great-paying jobs to our state and will ensure that Arizona remains at the forefront of clean energy and battery cell development for decades to come. … As one of the nation’s top producers of clean energy technologies, KORE Power plays an important role in maintaining American energy independence. This investment in our electric vehicle infrastructure and climate resiliency will continue to advance Arizona’s leadership in the tech sector as well as help our nation achieve its renewable energy goals.” – Arizona Commerce Authority, July 29, 2021
  • City of Buckeye Mayor Eric Osborn: “KORE Power’s investment in Buckeye to produce clean, renewable energy aligns with the City Council’s sustainability goals, and our goal for significant employment opportunities for our residents. … This project is not just a win for Buckeye, but for the West Valley, the State of Arizona and the clean energy industry.” – Arizona Commerce Authority, July 29, 2021
  • Then-Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R): “Arizona is thrilled to be selected as the home of the country’s first U.S.-owned lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility. … Not only will this facility create thousands of new jobs, it will position Arizona as an anchor in the global battery manufacturing supply chain. We’re grateful to CEO Lindsay Gorrill and the entire KORE Power team for choosing our state. We look forward to partnering in your success for many years to come to further sustainability here in Arizona around the world.” – SignalsAZ, August 4, 2021

Selected clips

  • “KORE Power Announces ~$75M First Close of $150M Investment Round with Siemens as Lead Investor and Joined by Quanta Services” – KORE Power, November 30, 2022
  • “Arizona chosen as location for first American-owned lithium-ion battery plant” – Chamber Business News, August 11, 2021
  • “Kore Power Selects Arizona Site for One Million Square Foot “Koreplex” Lithium-Ion Battery Manufacturing Facility” – SignalsAZ, August 4, 2021
  • “$1 billion battery complex in Buckeye secures most of funding needed for construction” – Phoenix Business Journal, June 9, 2023

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