ELLABELL, Ga. (WSAV) — Construction is officially underway on the largest economic development project in Georgia history.

Hyundai Motor Group broke ground on its electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plant in Bryan County on Tuesday morning. The $5.5 billion plant is a massive operation, spanning nearly 3,000 acres.

“Today the Hyundai Motor Group can officially call Bryan County home,” said chairman Euisun Chung.

The plant will be off Highway 280 in Ellabell, approximately 30 miles from the Port of Savannah. José Muñoz, global president of Hyundai, says the project will change not only Georgia but the country’s auto and manufacturing industry.

“The Hyundai Motor Group is prepared to lead the future of electrified mobility,” Muñoz said.

Local, state and federal leaders made the trip to the site alongside representatives from Hyundai. The South Korea-based company says the Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America will bring more than 8,000 jobs to the Greater Savannah area.

“The folks in Chatham, Effingham, Bryan all know it, this is transformational for the region,” Gov. Brian Kemp said. “Not just for people’s children now, but for their grandchildren. I mean, this is going to be a project that will really resonate for generations to come.”

The governor said since 2020, Georgia has announced 30 electric mobility projects, bringing more than $13 billion in investment and close to 19,000 jobs.

In addition to economic impacts, Georgia’s senators say the expansion of electric vehicles will also be good for the environment.

“This is a huge day for the state of Georgia, for the future of advanced manufacturing in Georgia and the future of the transportation sector that can be cleaner and less polluting,” Sen. Jon Ossoff told News 3.

“It’s incredibly important,” Sen. Raphael Warnock said. “We have to have a future that is both economically sustainable and ecologically sustainable. Those are two distinct goals, but I think they’re related.”

As construction begins on this historic investment, Hyundai representatives say they are committed to supporting the community they’re building in.

“You brought your communities together to create opportunities and prosperity for the people of Bryan County and greater Savannah,” Chung said.

Hyundai officials anticipate the plant will be completed by 2025 and the company aims to produce 300,000 electric vehicles per year.