Ford Motor Co. has picked Detroit-based Walbridge as general contractor to build Blue Oval City, its planned $5.6-billion complex in Stanton, Tenn., near Memphis, to include electric vehicle assembly and battery plants.
Ford anticipates having between 5,000 and 6,000 construction workers involved on the project, a spokesperson says.
The companies are actively looking for subcontractors and suppliers to work on the project, with Ford saying in a statement that they are “both committed to hiring a diverse workforce to build Blue Oval City.” Ford and Walbridge plan to host several subcontractor events in the Memphis area to provide an overview of the construction opportunities at the site.
“These events will help ensure that Tennesseans and a diverse local workforce will be part of creating a new era of advanced manufacturing for this country,” Ford said.
The companies also set up a website, walbridgeblueoval.com, with contacts for subcontractors or suppliers interested in working on the project.
As ENR previously reported, Ford is partnering with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation on the development, with plans calling for a 3,600-acre campus that would produce batteries for electric F-Series pickup trucks to also be assembled on-site.
Ford also plans to have on-site water treatment, recycling and parts supplier facilities to boost its goal to make the assembly plant carbon neutral, and to send no waste to landfills, once it is operational, according to the company. The automaker aims for production to start in 2025.
Walbridge, which deferred to Ford for answers to questions about the project, ranks at No. 43 on ENR’s 2021 Top 400 Contractors list with $1.9 billion in revenue the year before, including 59 manufacturing project contracts. It has a long history of working with Ford, including on expansions of the automaker’s plants in Flat Rock and Dearborn, Mich., as well as in Hermosillo, Mexico, plus construction of other facilities such as a research and engineering center and a factory tour visitor center near Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. In October 2021, Walbridge received a Ford award for “diversity and inclusion world excellence.”
In October, Tennessee lawmakers approved a $900-million incentive package including infrastructure upgrades as part of efforts to draw the project. The state had also previously committed to a plan to invest an estimated $20 million on fast EV charging stations along major highways across the state.
Ford is not the only automaker focusing on EVs in the state. Volkswagen has been expanding its Chattanooga, Tenn., plant and plans to begin producing its electric ID.4 SUVs there this year.