Tennessee Governor Bill Lee was in Jackson for the second time in a week on Tuesday, celebrating the groundbreaking for 6K Energy on the western edge of Jackson.
“This is a great day in Tennessee because it’s such a beautiful day, and because of what we’re celebrating here today,” Lee said to about 150 people gathered at the site on James Parker Road. “And Tennessee is one of the fastest-growing states, but this area of Tennessee is one of the most exciting little areas in the state because of everything going on around here and everyone here who are involved in making it happen.”
Jackson Mayor Scott Conger, Madison County Mayor A.J. Massey, State and Representative Chris Todd were among those at the gathering.
Massey, who is nearing a year since he was first elected to his position, said the event was special for him because it marked the first significant business recruitment that he was involved in from the beginning.
“Right after I was sworn in, I attended one of these events and took part in the photo ops and the dirt moving, but I had nothing to do with making that happen,” Massey said before the crowd laughed in response. “But this was the first one where I got a call from Mandy White at The Chamber on a Friday and said, ‘Hey! We’re flying to Boston Monday for a meeting. Are you in?”
That whirlwind trip of meetings, introductions and conversations was an early step in the process that brought 6K to Jackson.
“We appreciate everyone coming to this event this morning, and I know some of you traveled a significant journey to get here,” said 6K CEO Aaron Bent. “For us at 6K, this journey was one of seven years, and we’re glad to bring technology and methods of clean manufacturing with no waste not just to Jackson or Tennessee, but to the United States.
“When we started the process of finding a place to build our first building here, we started with 200 potential sites and narrowed it down to three – on each in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama. And all three were close, but we loved what Jackson had to offer and the way everyone here worked together to make sure we had whatever information we needed to make our decision.”
6K’s Jackson plant will be the world’s first cathode manufacturing plant providing low cost, ultra-sustainable battery material for domestic cell and pack production.
Its technology results in zero waste as anything left over is used in the next production, 90 percent less water use, 70 percent less energy consumption and up to 70 percent reduction in carbon emissions.
The plant is expected to open in a little more than a year (third quarter of 2024) on 50 acres on James Parker Road. It will produce 230 jobs.
“While we’re here to celebrate, I’ll also go ahead and do my job of selling Jackson,” said Greater Jackson CEO Kyle Spurgeon. “I know we have some potential customers and suppliers of 6K here in attendance.
“6K is using 50 acres here where we are now, but look around, and you can see there are hundreds of acres nearby that are available if you want to follow them here. A lot of people are coming to Tennessee and Jackson, and we’re ready to welcome you here too.”
Brandon Shields, email@example.com