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Ford, battery maker face job requirement for Tennessee plant

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (AP) – Ford Motor Co and a South Korean company would have to create more than 5,000 full-time jobs at a planned electric pickup truck factory and battery manufacturing plant in Tennessee or pay back at least part of a USD500 million state grant for the project, according to a lease approved on Thursday by a regional board.

The Megasite Authority of West Tennessee’s board of directors voted to approve the lease during a meeting to discuss the USD5.6 billion project to build electric F-Series pickups and batteries at a 3,600-acre parcel of land in rural Stanton, northeast of Memphis.

Ford, battery maker SK Innovation and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced the project in September. A joint venture called BlueOvalSK will also construct twin battery plants in Glendale, Kentucky, in an estimated USD5.8 billion investment. The projects are expected to create an estimated 10,800 jobs and shift the automaker’s future manufacturing footprint toward the South while putting an emphasis on green energy.

A truck drives down a road near a water tower marking the location of the Memphis Regional Megasite in Stanton, Tennessee. PHOTO: AP