The state finally revealed the name of the industry, referred to as Project Cardinal, that will go into the 231 North Industrial Park.
Officials announced Wednesday that Duksan Electera America, Inc .will invest $95 million to locate its first North American manufacturing facility in Shelbyville.
A branch of South Korean-based Duksan Group, Duksan Electera will create 101 new jobs in Bedford County over the next five years as the company constructs a new facility at 210 Frank Martin Road.
As an electrolyte manufacturer for the electric vehicle battery industry, Duksan Electera’s expansion to Tennessee will position the company to be geographically closer to its core customer base.
Representatives say the Shelbyville location will be “essential” to Duksan Electera as the company is responsible for supplying roughly 60,000 tons of electrolytes to battery makers in the southeastern U.S.
Founded in 2021, as a subsidiary of Duksan Technopia Co., Ltd., Duksan Electera supports its parent company through the manufacturing of electrolytes for the electric vehicle battery sector.
Since 2018, Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) has supported more than 50 economic development projects in the Southern Middle Tennessee region, creating around 7,700 job commitments and $5 billion in capital investment.
Gov. Bill Lee commented that “companies choose to call Tennessee home because of our strong business climate and highly skilled workforce. I commend Duksan Electera for choosing to locate its first North American manufacturing facility in Bedford County and thank this company for creating opportunities for Tennesseans to thrive.”
TNECD Commissioner Stuart McWhorter added, “Tennessee is at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, and it’s thanks to companies like Duksan Electera that this industry continues to thrive. We are proud to be the home of Duksan Electera’s first North American electrolyte manufacturing plant and believe Shelbyville’s central location in the southeastern corridor will set this company up for great success in the years to come.”
“We have chosen the city of Shelbyville and Bedford County not only for its excellent location, but also because of the warm welcome and passion we’ve felt from the City of Shelbyville, Bedford County and the State of Tennessee,” Duksan Electera president Suwan Lee said.
He said the electric vehicle market has a “bright future with an expected compound annual growth rate of 32 percent by 2030.” The demand for related materials such as electrolytes is projected to rise as well, according to Lee.
“With our business in this promising market, I hope that we can create a mutually beneficial environment where the community and the company can both continue to grow,” Lee said.
County Mayor Chad Graham, who has been a proponent of the new industrial park since his election in 2018, said, “Our collaboration with the City of Shelbyville, along with the formation of the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership, has proven to be effective. We look forward to many more exciting things to come in Bedford County.”
Commissioner Greg Vick, who sits on the 231 Industrial Park Board, talked about the “intense training skills necessary for employment” that can be provided by the local TCAT.
“We inspired their confidence by demonstrating the necessary workforce can be cultivated and developed by our local school system through our local Work Force Development initiative.”
He added, “But equally important, we showed everyone in Tennessee our local economic presence and business acumen will now allow us to compete statewide for complimentary industry related companies eager to be part of our success.”
Shelbyville City Mayor Wallace Cartwright highlighted the collaboration it took to get this multi-million-dollar company to Bedford’s growing corridor.
“Their investment in our community is the result of our elected officials combined vision. Shane Hooper [CEO of the Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership] and his team have worked tirelessly for over eight months to represent our community with professionalism,” Cartwright said. “We expect this collaborative effort will ensure continued growth for higher wage jobs and improve the quality of life for all our citizens.”
TVA and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation were also part in recruiting the new industry. They will be partnering Shelbyville-Bedford Partnership, Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association and the TDEC to “further that mission and look forward to Duksan Electera’s future business success in the Valley.”
“Helping to attract and retain jobs and investment in the region is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service,” said John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development.
Speaker Pro Tempore Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville) added, “This major investment in our community will bring more jobs to our area and further strengthen our local economy.”