Dow Kokam selects Clayco

Sept. 12, 2010
As design-build contractor for Midland battery manufacturing facility

Dow Kokam, a leading large-format battery system producer, has announced it has selected Clayco Inc., a full-service real estate development, design and construction firm, as the design-build contractor to oversee construction of its battery manufacturing facility in Midland, MI.

Clayco will be responsible for the design and construction of the facility, which will produce lithium ion battery cells and packs for hybrid and electric vehicles.

"Dow Kokam's speed to market is critical to meeting the automotive industry's needs for a competitive energy source for the transportation industry," said David Pankratz, Dow Kokam's vice president of operations.

"Our highly automated and environment controlled manufacturing processes required that Dow Kokam select a general contractor with a superior track record, related experience and a shared passion for moving safely and quickly toward building this industry in the US. Clayco was the clear choice."

Construction of the new 800,000 square foot, large-format battery manufacturing facility will take place in two overlapping phases. The first phase of construction, which began in May 2010, is supported by a Department of Energy Reinvestment and Recovery Act grant.

When Phase I is complete, the facility will span 400,000 square feet, have a targeted capacity of 600 million watt hours and will employ at least 320 people.

In February of this year, Dow Kokam announced the Michigan Economic Growth Authority had approved tax credits equivalent to $42 million that would help enable Phase II of construction. This phase, which could be initiated as early as 2011, is expected to add an additional 600 million watt hours and incorporate battery pack assembly equipment and production.

When both phases are complete, the facility will employ up to 800 people and have the capacity to manufacture 1.2 billion watt hours of large-format prismatic battery cells annually; enough to power 60,000 fully electric vehicles per year assuming a 20 KWh battery system.

Dow Kokam has committed to spend $322 million for Phase I of the facility including manufacturing equipment and building construction and has set a goal to ensure that 80 percent of building construction expenses be incurred in Michigan.

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