Dow Kokam battery manufacturing to create jobs for midland, help secure michigan as global lithium-ion technology center.Marking 18 months after breaking ground, the Dow Kokam Midland Battery Park, a 400,000 square foot lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in Midland, Mich. is on track to begin advanced battery production in 2012. To date, the project has required about 650,000 man-hours for construction, with greater than 90 percent worked by Michigan residents. Installation of state-of-the-art battery production line equipment that will manufacture Dow Kokam’s advanced lithium-ion cell technology for transportation, defense and stationary applications is currently underway and the Battery Park is expected to be fully-operational by Q2 2012.
“Dow Kokam will be introducing some of the most advanced lithium-ion battery technology in the world because this company was created to draw on the best capabilities from each of its partners,” said Pankratz. “Kokam’s superior battery cell technology and design, paired with Dow Chemical’s expertise in large scale manufacturing and Dassault SVE’s battery pack and system integration knowledge give Dow Kokam leading battery system capability. Installation of our production equipment marks an important milestone in the transfer of technology to Dow Kokam’s Midland facility.”
In September, Dow Kokam began installing its highly specialized and proprietary manufacturing equipment purchased from a few Korean vendors including Kokam Companies, Ltd., a vendor with more than a decade of battery production experience. The equipment vendors are responsible to send employees and/or contractors to our facility with the skills and expertise to set up and test the equipment, and train our personnel on its use. These workers, who are Korean nationals, are not employees or contractors of Dow Kokam and will only be at the facility until the warranty runs on the equipment are complete.
Once installed and operational, the production lines will be run by Dow Kokam employees from the Great Lakes Bay Region, including 95 recently hired graduates from the Delta College Fast Start advanced battery training course. These employees will be further trained on Dow Kokam’s proprietary equipment.
“The Great Lakes Bay Region has a talented and motivated workforce, and it is a top priority to train and hire workers from the area to make Midland a focal point of next generation battery manufacturing,” said Pankratz. “This talented workforce is one of the primary drivers for locating our plant here.”