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Ford To Build $5.6B Electric Vehicle Plant On West Tennessee ‘Megasite’

Building sufficient infrastructure, especially water, has been one of the biggest challenges to the development of a "megasite" in West Tennessee.
Building sufficient infrastructure, especially water, has been one of the biggest challenges to the development of a "megasite" in West Tennessee.

After more than a decade, the so-called “megasite” in West Tennessee finally looks like it’s about to get an occupant.

Ford Motor Company announced Monday that it will spend $5.6 billion dollars to build an electric vehicle plant on 3,600 acres between Jackson and Memphis.

Tennessee has been trying to get a major manufacturer to locate there since 2009, but its remote location has been the biggest hurdle.

From the beginning, questions have been raised about whether the site is too far from population centers to be attractive to companies seeking workers. By comparison, a megasite near Chattanooga was quickly snatched up by Volkswagen, while one near Clarksville has drawn a number of industries.

But asking workers to make a long commute was only one of the challenges. It’s also a long way to run infrastructure. More than 40 miles of pipe have been installed — to bring in water and to carry off waste — and there have been spats over where to dump the wastewater.

When you add it all up, the Memphis Commercial Appeal estimates that Tennessee has spent $226 million to get the site ready for a manufacturer.

Ford says the site will build its next generation of all-electric F-series trucks, starting in 2025. There will also be a battery plant on the campus.

The state estimates the project will create 5,800 new jobs in West Tennessee. Ford stands to get more than $500 million in incentives if it completes the project.

Copyright 2021 WPLN News. To see more, visit WPLN News.

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