Panasonic Energy Co. selected a joint venture of Turner Construction Co. and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co. to build a 2.7-million-sq-ft electric vehicle battery assembly plant in De Soto, Kan., as part of an overall $4-billion investment, the companies announced March 1. 

The scope of work includes construction of a 30-GWh-capacity plant, as well as a central utility plant and support buildings. Panasonic Energy, a subsidiary of Panasonic Group established last year, expects to begin production by the end of March 2025. 

The project began in November with site preparation work performed by Columbia, Mo.-based Emery Sapp & Sons Inc. and Kansas City, Mo.-based Kissick Construction Co. Inc. The 300-acre site west of Kansas City was formerly a U.S. Army ammunition plant. 

As previously reported, the team also includes Greenville, S.C.-based construction manager Industrial Project Innovation; Portland, Ore.-based architect Mackenzie Inc.; and engineer SSOE Group, Toledo, Ohio.

The team aims to improve environmental performance by reducing onsite greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption during construction, in line with Panasonic Group’s goals for the project, Jim Brownrigg, a senior vice president of New York City-based Turner, says in a statement. 

The project would involve “thousands of people from the greater Kansas City area,” Karen Hogan, vice president and general manager of Turner, also said in a statement. Last year, Wichita State University economists estimated the project could support 16,500 construction jobs. 

The plant would produce Panasonic’s 2170 cylindrical lithium-ion batteries. They are used by electric vehicle maker Tesla, which Panasonic supplies from its Nevada EV battery plant. Panasonic has said it would also supply EV maker Lucid from the Kansas plant. 

Panasonic announced in November that EV battery recycler Redwood Materials would supply its plants in Nevada and Kansas. Redwood is planning to expand its Nevada campus with a $2-billion U.S. Dept. of Energy loan, announced last month. 

The Panasonic project follows new federal laws, including the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which earmarks funds to expand EV battery manufacturing, and the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides a clean vehicle credit for EVs with batteries assembled in North America.

Kansas also offered Panasonic an incentive package worth an estimated $829.2 million if the company meets all investment and hiring goals.