Two eastern Kentucky lawmakers expressed disappointment Wednesday over word that a major industrial company is suspending plans for a factory in Pikeville. In late 2017, EnerBlu said it would build a $372 million battery manufacturing plant and bring 875 jobs to the area.
But, a company news release states EnerBlu put the plans on hold when a primary potential investor withdrew support for the project. Salyersville Representative John Blanton said the company owner told him the battery maker faces time constraints. “They really need a facility that’s ready to move into, based on the loss of these investors and they have some production deadlines and the cost and the time to get the site ready is going to cause a huge delay and be very expensive,” said Blanton
Blanton hopes, once EnerBlu gets up and running, Pike County could still benefit from an expansion. When asked for her reaction, Whitesburg Representative Angie Hatton said, quote, “Honestly, it’s heartbreaking. We needed those jobs so very badly.” “It sounds like it was an issue with trying to build on reclaimed land. We’ve seen issues like that in the past, like the Big Sandy Prison, I understand was built on land like that,” noted Hatton.
Hatton hopes that EnerBlu can still have a presence in eastern Kentucky. Blanton said the company owner said the decision was based solely on financial matters not on any specific concerns about building in eastern Kentucky.