LG Chem Invests $3.2 Billion to Build EV Battery Cathode Manufacturing Plant in Tennessee – FutureCar | CarTailz

Author: Eric Walz

A depiction of LG Chem’s cathode fabrication facility to be built in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Electric vehicle battery manufacturer LG Chem announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State of Tennessee to build a new EV battery cathode manufacturing facility in the city of Clarksville.

The new Clarksville facility will be the largest of its kind in the US, with a target of producing 120,000 tons of cathode material annually by 2027. LG Chem will invest more than $3 billion in the factory, which will produce enough cathode materials to produce 1, 2 million to power EVs once fully operational.

Construction of the plant will begin in the first quarter of next year, and mass production of cathode materials is expected to begin in the second half of 2025.

The signing ceremony was attended by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-Cheol, along with other state officials.

The construction of the Tennessee factory is part of LG Chem’s strategy to grow its electric vehicle battery materials business from KRW 5 trillion (US$3.68 billion) in 2022 to KRW 20 trillion (US$14.75 billion) by 2022 to quadruple in 2027.

LG Chem also supplies EV batteries to General Motors and Lucid Group.

“The new cathode manufacturing facility in Tennessee brings us one step closer to becoming the world’s premier battery materials manufacturer and fulfilling our corporate vision of becoming a leading global science company,” said LG Chem CEO Shin be the cathode supply chain and result in the creation of many well paying jobs that contribute to the local economy in Clarksville.”

According to LG Chem, the state of Tennessee was selected for its proximity to key customers, ability to ship raw materials, and collaboration between state and local governments.

“This is a huge win for Tennessee and Montgomery County,” said Stuart McWhorter, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for global businesses. As we continue our efforts to attract companies in the automotive industry, we are focused on supporting companies that are strengthening Tennessee’s presence in the electric vehicle space.”

The Tennessee facility will feature LG Chem’s most advanced production technology, including the ability to produce more than 10,000 tons of cathode material per line, which LG Chem says is the highest in the industry. The company has successfully tested its advanced production technology at its fourth global cathode production site in Cheongju, South Korea.

LG Chem plans to implement its smart factory technology in Tennessee, which will automate the entire NCMA cathode production process. The company will establish a quality analysis and control system that it says will “be the benchmark for all other cathode plants in the world.”

The new facility will be designed with the environment and future clean energy needs in mind. The operation of the plant will rely entirely on renewable energy from solar and hydropower.

“LG Chem’s decision to invest $3.2 billion in Clarksville is a testament to Tennessee’s unmatched business climate, skilled workforce and position as a leader in the automotive industry,” said Tennessee Governor Lee . “I thank this company for creating more than 850 new jobs to provide an opportunity for Tennessees throughout Montgomery County.”

LG Chem aims to make the Tennessee site a key supply chain hub where material and recycling partners work together to serve customers in the global automotive industry.

With LG Chem’s new cathode factory, the state of Tennessee will become a center for the production of electric vehicles and batteries.

In May 2021, Ultium Cells LLC, the joint venture between LG Energy Solution and GM, announced a $2.3 billion investment to build a second electric vehicle battery cell manufacturing facility in Spring Hill, Tennessee, where the Automaker’s presence since it opened in 1990 has its manufacturing facility in Spring Hill.

Ultium Cells’ facility will also produce advanced NCMA cathode materials containing nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum for next-generation EV batteries with improved battery capacity and stability.

In July, Volkswagen announced that it had started production of the ID.4 electric SUV at its converted plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The factory is the automaker’s North American center for electric vehicle production. In 2020, Volkswagen began expanding its assembly plant in Tennessee for the production of electric vehicles.

The facility includes a state-of-the-art high-voltage laboratory for the development and testing of electric vehicle cells and battery packs for electric VW models assembled in the USA. The Chattanooga assembly plant also includes production lines for battery cells and packs.

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