Battery company suspends plans for eastern Kentucky plant
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) – A battery manufacturer says it is suspending plans to build a $372 million facility and hire 875 workers in the heart of Appalachia.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Enerblu CEO John Thomas said the company made the decision after a primary potential investor withdrew support for the project last year, citing a “series of unexpected geopolitical factors.”
Thomas said the company is “extremely disappointed” and said they were “well aware of the hope” the project had generated in the region.
The announcement is another blow to a region that has suffered from the loss of coal jobs. The region had more than 8,000 coal jobs in the third quarter of 2013. Five years later, there were 3,800 coal jobs. Pike County lost about 5,000 residents between 2013 and 2017.