ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2022) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the latest electric-vehicle-related investment in Kentucky, as LOTTE Aluminium Materials USA LLC will locate an aluminum foil manufacturing operation in Hardin County with a $238.7 million investment that will create 122 full-time jobs.
“Through industrial revenue bonds issued by the city, we strive to incentivize industrial development here in Elizabethtown,” said Elizabethtown Mayor Jeff Gregory. “The arrival of LOTTE will be a win for Elizabethtown’s workforce and the workforce of the surrounding region, and by extension, a win for the community.”
LOTTE Chemical has announced a joint venture with LOTTE Aluminium to build a manufacturing facility in Elizabethtown to produce 36,000 tons of cathode foil, a type of ultra-thin aluminum foil that is a core material used in EV batteries. Cathode foil is one of the four major components of lithium-ion batteries. It supports the cathode active material that determines the capacity and voltage of the secondary battery, and at the same time serves as a passage for electrons.
Company leaders anticipate demand for the material to increase by an average of 32 percent annually by 2030. The Hardin County operation, located on 40 acres in the T.J. Patterson Industrial Park, will be the first aluminum foil facility located in the United States and is expected to begin operation in 2025.
“We will do our best to develop and support technology so that we can stably produce high-quality and high-efficiency cathode foils to respond to customers one step at a time,” said Kim Gyo Hyun, president and CEO of LOTTE Chemical.
“Our local leaders, both in government and in organizations such as the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation, have been and will continue to be steadfast in ensuring new manufacturers have the support needed to build and develop in our community,” said Hardin County Judge/Executive Harry Berry.
LOTTE Aluminium and LOTTE Chemical are subsidiaries of LOTTE Group, one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea, with over 90 business units employing more than 80,000 people. LOTTE Group was founded in 1967 and serves a broad range of industries, including hospitality, financial services, food manufacturing, entertainment, industrial chemicals and aluminum manufacturing, among others.
LOTTE Chemical, established in 1976, produces basic chemicals and advanced materials, including polymers, monomers, basic petrochemicals, construction and interior materials and water treatment membrane. Founded in 1966, LOTTE Aluminium manufactures aluminum foil, printed packaging materials and corrugated cardboard boxes, among other products.
“Amid recent industrial development announcements in the Elizabethtown-Hardin County area, there have been discussions regarding ancillary projects coming to the region,” said Matt Hess, board chair for the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation. “We’ve already seen growth in the past year with the construction of Kruger Packaging and expansions among existing manufacturers in the industrial park, and the arrival of LOTTE signals even stronger growth.”
“The economic growth happening in Hardin County right now is unprecedented,” said Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation Vice President Andy Games. “We have long touted Hardin County as a top destination for manufacturing and industrial companies, and we are seeing that come to fruition. We want to thank Gov. Andy Beshear and his administration, Hardin County and the City of Elizabethtown for working together to attract a world-class company like LOTTE to our region.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in May preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $3.3 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $238.7 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 122 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $23.35 including benefits across those jobs.
Additionally, KEDFA approved LOTTE for up to $1 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments.
In addition, LOTTE can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.
Kentucky is positioned as a national leader in the rapidly growing EV market, with significant investment across the past two years. Since June 2020, the commonwealth has seen over $8.5 billion in EV-related investments, with well over 8,000 full-time jobs announced.
Greg Lee, president and CEO of Nolin RECC, spoke on the continued growth of Kentucky’s EV sector.
“The future of Kentucky is changing dramatically through the electric vehicles industry. This investment by LOTTE Aluminium is a testament to that movement,” Lee said. “We are excited to welcome LOTTE Aluminium into our Nolin RECC and Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperative family, and we look forward to helping them find success here in Hardin County.”
For more information on LOTTE Aluminium, visit LOTTEal.co.kr/eng. Learn more about LOTTE Chemical at LOTTEChem.com/en/index.do.