Korean Supplier Investing $102M, Adding 100 Jobs

Korean Supplier Investing $102M, Adding 100 Jobs

Jaewon Industrial, a South Korea-based supplier of chemicals and allied products, announced plans to establish operations in the United States, locating a new chemical recycling plant in Kokomo to serve lithium-ion battery manufacturers and the growing electric vehicle (EV) supply chain. To support this growth, the company plans to create up to 100 new, high-wage jobs by the end of 2024.

“Indiana’s electric vehicle ecosystem continues to accelerate, and we’re excited to welcome JWA to our growing, future-focused economy,” said Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers. “With the addition of JWA, Hoosiers will be supporting the full lifecycle of energy storage and electric vehicle production – from R&D to production to recycling – helping usher in the global energy transition and shared sustainability goals.”

The company, which is headquartered in Yeosu, South Korea, has established a subsidiary, JWA Co., Ltd., to serve the U.S. battery and EV market. JWA will invest $102 million to locate its first operations in Indiana, purchasing 30 acres of land at 100 East in Kokomo. In its first phase of construction, the company will construct a 65,000-square-foot facility to disperse conductive slurry and will build a recycling facility to recycle n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), enabling JWA to recycle up to 100,000 tons of NMP once at full capacity. The company is also finalizing plans for its second phase of construction, which will include building a second, 150,000-square-foot facility to disperse conductive slurry. JWA’s new Kokomo site will serve the electric vehicle industry, recycling chemical waste to electric grade and supporting battery manufacturers’ ESG initiatives.

JWA plans to break ground on its new Kokomo operations in June 2023 and expects to begin operations in 2024, serving battery manufacturers in Indiana, including Stellantis’ and Samsung SDI’s new gigafactory joint venture, and across the U.S. The company will hire for plant managers, engineers and operators once the facility is up and running.

“The secondary battery and semiconductor industries in North America have been seeing rapid growth over the last few years,” said Jaewon Shim, CEO of Jaewon Industrial. “By establishing a presence in Indiana, we hope to help secure Indiana as the center of the North American secondary battery and semi-conductor supply chains. Jaewon Industrial is also committed to investing in R&D as well as innovation of leading environmentally friendly solutions for businesses.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Sec. Chambers’ trip to South Korea in March where he led Indiana’s participation in the InterBattery Conference – Korea’s leading battery exhibition. Indiana, which was one of eight states invited by the U.S. Embassy in Seoul to exhibit within the conference’s U.S. pavilion, highlighted the state’s competitive business climate, innovation ecosystem and growing battery and electric vehicle ecosystem to industry partners and prospects like Jaewon Industrial.

“We are honored that Jaewon Industries has faith in Kokomo and its local workforce,” said Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore. “This latest investment shows how the EV industry continues to have an impact on our community. Kokomo and its workers are up to the task.”

Based on the company’s job creation plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) committed an investment in JWA of up to $2 million in the form of incentive-based tax credits and up to $500,000 in training grants. The IEDC also committed an investment of up to $500,000 in Manufacturing Readiness Grants, which are designed to help companies invest in smart manufacturing and new technologies. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired. The city of Kokomo supports the project.

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