Tesla Motors has been making progress on its massive—and pricey—gigafactory. The automaker has already said it expects to spend approximately $5 billion on the project, and building permits show Tesla is already burning up its massive budget for the facility.

Tesla Motors Inc To Drop $16M Just For Gigafactory Foundation

Reviewing Tesla’s building permits

Forbes staff writer Ryan Mac reports that the permits for the gigafactory indicate Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is spending $16 million just to lay the foundation for the gigantic battery factory. Apparently the construction companies aren’t just too far away from being finished with the foundation either.

There have been 17 building permits filed in Storey County in Nevada since June. According to Mac, two of them indicate Tesla will be spending tens of millions of dollars on single phases of the construction project.

Gigafactory foundation to be complete soon

Work on the foundation began in October and is expected to be finished no later than April. The permit apparently did not say exactly how much of a foundation would be laid, although Tesla said previously that it expects the foundation to be approximately 10 million square feet. The gigafactory is expected to consist of two buildings, each with one or two stories.

Mac also noted a permit that was filed in December for the steel work on the facility. Schuff Steel Company, based in Phoenix, will complete the work. That phase is just the first of the structural steel work that needs to be done, and it is estimated to cost around $15 million. The work on that phase began in December and is targeted for completion by June.

Tesla’s “Project Tiger”

Of course it isn’t much of a surprise that each phase will cost so much since Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) will be spending billions to build the entire facility. But they do give an early indication of just how massive the gigafactory will end up being. The project is apparently being referred to by some as “Project Tiger.”

According to the Forbes post, BuildZoom offered some other numbers to put the cost of Tesla’s project into perspective. The startup estimates that construction workers will have to move about 140,000 cubic yards of dirt for the foundation and an additional 200,000 cubic yards for a retention basin. It estimates that the work will need 200 dump truck loads every day for over four months.

Shares of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) edged downward as much as 0.21% during regular trading hours today.