Thu, February 8th 2024
HANCOCK COUNTY, W.Va. — Form Energy’s Factory 1 is marking a big milestone.
The factory being built on the former Weirton Steel Site that will generate American-made batteries for a reliable, resilient grid saw its final beam put in place on Thursday morning. Ground was broken in May 2023 for the facility, which projects to generate 750 jobs by 2028.
Form Energy President and COO Ted Wiley shared the moment with members of the form team and other entities who made progress possible from Day 1.
“Heart and hard work all around. I couldn’t think of a better foundation to build a company on,” he said.
Wiley says watching that final beam raised to the top was a significant moment, as it will be a new start for the company’s brand to generate iron-air batteries.
“It’s a pretty emotional day to see this thing go from a dream to a reality,” he said. And the work is moving quickly, as Form broke ground less than 9 months ago.
Form Factory 1 Vice President Soufiane Halily has overseen the project from the start.
“It’s moving so fast because of the commitment and the team and the creativity of how everyone is focused on getting manufacturing back here,” Halily said. Halily said the 300,000 square-foot factory is going to really start to take shape in the next few weeks.”We’re going to continue drying in the building. In about a month and a half or so, the building will be fully dried in. We’re going to continue pouring in the remaining slabs and continue finishing the interiors,” he said.
A job fair was held in January, and another was planned for Thursday, beginning at 2 p.m. at Weirton’s Millsop Center.
“People are lining up, and it’s time to get working,” Wiley said.
Manufacturing of the batteries will begin later this year.
Wiley says out of all the places they could’ve picked, they’re happy they chose Weirton.”When we started this search a year and a half ago, we looked all over the country for a place to build Form’s first factory,” he said. “We looked up along the Atlantic Coast, along the Gulf Coast, up and down the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, and I couldn’t be more happy and feel more fortunate that we decided to pick Weirton as the place for Form’s new home. These things, they start out as a dream, where you say, ‘OK, I can imagine a future that’s better,’ but then they become a reality like this with heart and hard work.”