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Ford names Detroit contractor to build massive Blue Oval project in Tennessee

Construction giant The Walbridge Group has been hired to build Ford Motor Co.’s Blue Oval City development in Tennessee.

The project in Stanton, northeast of Memphis, is expected to cost $5.6 billion and produce electric F-Series trucks and batteries.

It is expected to be one of the largest project’s in Ford’s history, spread across some 3,600 acres in a town that has less than 500 people.

Ford said the effort will “require some 11,000 direct construction jobs and several thousand more related personnel” to build the factory, which is expected to ultimately employ about 5,700.

“Ford and Walbridge are both committed to hiring a diverse workforce to build Blue Oval City,” Ford said in a statement Thursday.

“Together, we will 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.”

An email was sent to Detroit-based Walbridge Group seeking comment on Thursday.

Combined, Blue Oval City and another project that would create a pair of battery plants in Kentucky are anticipated to employ about 11,000 people; Ford’s investment is $7 billion and battery manufacturer SK Innovation’s is $4.4 billion, creating an $11.4 billion investment total.

The announcement that the plants would go to states other than Michigan caused some consternation that the homegrown automaker didn’t put them in the state where it was born and headquartered. The state’s top economic development official said Michigan was “not actively involved” in the process for selecting the locations.

Blue Oval City is expected to open in 2025, Automotive News reported earlier.

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