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Panasonic Energy Erects First Steel Beam at Site of New EV Battery Facility

by Mary Rooney | Apr 27, 2023

Image by: Panasonic Energy

(DE SOTO, Kan.) April 26, 2023 – Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd. ("Panasonic") and its construction partners are proud to announce they have officially “gone vertical” on the site of the new EV battery facility in De Soto, KS. Workers erected the new facility’s first steel beam on the morning of April 26, marking the latest milestone achievement for the biggest economic development project in Kansas history. 

After moving more than 4.5 million cubic yards of dirt since breaking ground in November, Panasonic’s construction team celebrated “going vertical” with a ceremony that included remarks from Panasonic Energy and construction team leaders. Then front-line construction workers from various teams took a moment to sign the first beam before it was erected at the 300-acre site. With the first beam in place, the next phase of construction begins on the facility that is expected to start production in 2025. When fully operational, the plant will increase Panasonic Energy’s global capacity by 60%.

Allan Swan, President, Panasonic Energy of North America:
From the initial announcement out here last July, then the groundbreaking in November, and now going vertical in April, the whole region has given our Panasonic team such a warm welcome. When our production lines open and we’re supplying batteries that were made in De Soto, Kansas, to partners across the world, we’ll look back at today – at this first beam – and marvel at where we started and how far we've come. 

While the construction work is moving along quickly here at the site, my colleagues and I are having many productive conversations with partners throughout the region. When we talk about workforce development, it’s not just creating new jobs. We’re working with high school and area colleges to creating pathways to those jobs for anyone who is interested and excited about being part of what we’re building. Whether it’s training new hires at one of our facilities or teaching those skills in school, we’re eager to broaden, deepen and strengthen the talent pool here in the Kansas City region.

Carl Walton, VP, Strategic Initiatives & Facilities, Panasonic Energy:
Today represents the culmination of great teamwork from so many involved – all of our great construction partners, our new neighbors here in De Soto and state leaders in Topeka. It’s also the beginning of the next phase, where you’re going to be able to see this state-of-the-art facility take shape right before your eyes.

From November’s groundbreaking to erecting steel today, it’s remarkable the progress we see out on the site every week. And that’s thanks to all of our construction partners: IPI, SSOE, McKenzie, Kissick Construction and Emery Sapp & Sons, and of course our general contractor, Turner-Yates. Some of the next big milestones will be when we kick off recruiting later this year. Then we plan to begin equipment installs in mid-2024. Our team and our partners are working diligently toward these milestones, and we know the start of production will be here before we know it!

Construction Partners

  • Turner-Yates (general contractor)
  • IPI
  • SSOE
  • McKenzie
  • Kissick Construction
  • Emery Sapp & Sons

About Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd 
Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd., established in April 2022 as part of the Panasonic Group’s switch to an operating company system, provides innovative battery technology-based products and solutions globally. Through its automotive lithium-ion batteries, storage battery systems and dry batteries, the company brings safe, reliable, and convenient power to a broad range of business areas, from mobility and social infrastructure to medical and consumer products. Panasonic Energy is committed to contributing to a society that realizes happiness and environmental sustainability, and through its business activities the Company aims to address societal issues while taking the lead on environmental initiatives. For more details, please visit https://www.panasonic.com/global/energy.

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