EnerBlu suspends plans to build a plant in Pike County, KY
PIKEVILLE, Ky (WCHS/WVAH) —
The economy of an Eastern Kentucky county has been dealt a severe economic blow. Battery manufacturer EnerBlu has suspended plans to build a multi-million dollar facility in Pike County.
Several months ago the company announced plans to build a $372-million facility in Pike County, creating 875 jobs. According to the City of Pikeville, funding was not secured for the project and plans have been suspended.
"I was disappointed. It was disheartening," said Brody Dixon who lives in Pike County.
"It was jaw-dropping," said Pike County Businessman Eugene Sisco.
He says the news is a blow to the local economy hit hard by the loss of coal jobs.
"EnerBlu was going to be more or less the savior to a down-turned coal economy. With EnerBlu not coming in I believe that if I am businessman "A" and I look and I see EnerBlu backed out. Why did they back out? What's going on? I believe it might scare other potential businesses or industries from coming into the area," said Sisco.
Pikeville City Manager Philip Elswick says,"The City of Pikeville is also disappointed. Throughout the process of working with EnerBlu our city officials and local economic development authorities have given this partnership an abundance of attention for what we know could have been a transformative project for our community." EnerBlu was going to build their facility in the industrial park.
"I feel like everybody was let down just based on the coal industry economy not being so good," said Dixon.
Now the search continues to try and bring other business to the area. Over the last five years, this region of the state has lost about 5,000 coal jobs and about 5,000 residents