FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 26, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced further growth in the state’s EV industry as LioChem e-Materials LLC, a subsidiary of Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co. Ltd, will locate a new facility in Simpson County with a $104.4 million investment creating 141 quality jobs for local Kentuckians to support electric vehicle battery production.
"Kentucky has made incredible strides developing our electric vehicle industry during the past few years,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are committed to making Kentucky an attractive location for companies making EVs, batteries and the supply chain around this fast-growing sector. I want to thank the leaders at LioChem for believing in Kentucky and our incredible workforce. I look forward to watching the company’s success and its contribution to making Kentucky a national leader in EVs.”
The project, located at 310 Ronnie Clark Drive in Franklin, Kentucky, will help support the growing EV sector throughout Kentucky and the surrounding region. The new operation, which will locate in a renovated building, will produce and distribute a liquid dispersion of carbon nanotubes that contributes to the production of more durable, high-capacity and higher-output EV batteries. The product will help to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries that are primarily used in EVs.
“Since 2021, the Toyo Ink Group has been supplying battery materials created at our manufacturing facility, LioChem, in the state of Georgia,” said Hideki Okaichi, executive operating officer of Toyo Ink. “North American demand for this essential material continues to grow rapidly. To meet projected future demand, we decided to establish LioChem e-Materials as our second battery material production based in the United States. This new site is expected to further bolster our regional and global supply chain.”
LioChem is a leading manufacturer of quality printing inks, coatings and plastic colorants. Founded in 1988 as part of the worldwide Toyo Ink Group, LioChem merged dispersion technology systems from Japan with innovative manufacturing facilities in the United States to become a recognized industry leader. Emphasis on technology, education and extensive support services has led to a solid reputation for achieving customer satisfaction in highly competitive markets.
Kentucky continues to grow as a national leader in the rapidly growing EV market. Since June 2020, the commonwealth has seen nearly $10 billion in EV-related investments, with more than 8,900 full-time jobs announced by companies within the sector.
Simpson County Judge/Executive Mason Barnes looks forward to growing the EV footprint of the community and diversifying the local economy.
“I am very excited that LioChem has decided to locate in Simpson County,” said Judge Barnes. “They will not only bring diversity to our current industrial base, but they will also bring a completely new technology with them. Their presence here will greatly benefit our community as it helps to establish us in the ever-growing EV market. We are thankful and proud to have LioChem in our community.”
Gary Broady, chairman of the Franklin-Simpson Industrial Authority Board, welcomes the company as part of a growing international scene within the community.
“LioChem marks the 12th international company to locate in Franklin,” Broady said. “This company will be a welcomed addition to our Henderson Industrial Park. They are providing great job opportunities for our community.”
Larry Dixon, mayor of the City of Franklin, appreciates the company for their investment in the area, providing quality job opportunities for local residents.
“I am really pleased that LioChem is locating in our city,” said Mayor Dixon. “The company is making a significant investment in Franklin and will provide over 100 jobs for our area. We certainly welcome them to our area and look forward to seeing them grow in the coming years.”
LioChem’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth, as the state builds back stronger from the effects of the pandemic.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced the creation of over 42,000 full-time jobs and more than 800 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling $24 billion in announced investments.
With the books closed on 2022, the Governor has now secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth.
In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years.
That momentum continued strongly into 2022 with 248 new-location and expansion announcements totaling 16,000 full-time jobs behind nearly $10.5 billion in new investment.
The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.
Gov. Beshear also announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April 2022, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
Kentucky’s success has been noted by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, which have upgraded the state’s financial outlook to positive in recognition of the commonwealth’s surging economy. In addition, Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky at 6th in its annual Prosperity Cup rankings for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Gov. Beshear’s administration is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in Kentucky history, and the state’s rainy day fund has a record balance of $2.7 billion.
To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) on Thursday preliminarily approved a 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $4 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of $104.4 million and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 141 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and
- Paying an average hourly wage of $29 including benefits across those jobs.
Additionally, KEDFA approved LioChem for up to $200,000 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, LioChem 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.
For more information on LioChem, visit liochem.toyoink.com.
A detailed community profile for Simpson County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.