New industry comes to West Tennessee

JACKSON, Tenn. — A company called 6K Energy announced Tuesday that they chose Jackson for the location of their brand new manufacturing site.

The factory, which is scheduled to open in 2025, will be located on James Lawrence Road in the Hub City’s Industrial Park, located near the McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport.

They plan to build a 120,000-square-foot factory they call their PlusCAM factory. This factory will be the world’s first UniMelt plasma cathode plant.

“We modify the shape of the plasma so it’s more like a torch, and it looks a lot like a lightsaber if you’re familiar with what that looks like. And so we use that high temperature plasma to convert salts of metals into high quality or high purity metals, and they’re typically in the micron size, what we produce,” said Rob Davies, the Chief Operating Officer for 6K Energy.

These newly created micron size metals go toward the battery market to be used in cathodes.

So what is a cathode?

“So a battery has a positive side and a negative side, the cathode and the anode. Our current focus is on the cathode, the positive side of the battery.” Davies said.

Right now, China creates 85% of battery material for the world. This will be the first battery material plant constructed in the United States.

The cathode is the most expensive component of a battery, and 6K Energy will be able to cut $500 from the cost of an electric vehicle by producing them domestically.

The PlusCAM factory will create 230 jobs for the West Tennessee area with attractive wages.

“The vast majority of them will be production workers, and about half of those production workers will be production operators, and about a third of them will be maintenance or quality technicians. And then the balance of the employees will either be supervisors or managers or department leaders. About 180-185 employees will be skilled operators, either in production, maintenance, or quality,” Davies said.

“We are always thankful for the opportunity to welcome new companies to Jackson. This investment will not only create jobs but also boost economic development and reinforce Jackson’s position as a leading destination for advanced manufacturing. We are grateful for 6K Energy’s commitment to our community and look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership,” said Jackson Mayor Scott Conger in a news release.

As for the environment, according to 6K Energy representatives, Unimelt plasma is the most environment-friendly way to produce their products.

Compared to its counterparts in Asia, there will be no solid or liquid hazardous waste, 70% less emissions, 50% less energy used, and no water required.

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