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December 22, 2023
2 Min Read
The company already signed an agreement for the long-term supply of cathode materials with General Motors.Image courtesy of LG Chem
On December 20, LG Chem, along with state and local leaders, and corporate officers gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony at the 420-acre site of its new electrical vehicle battery materials plant in Clarksville, TN. The company intends to establish a production hub for the global battery material market.
The petrochemical, advanced materials, and life sciences company first announced plans to build the $3.2 billion plant more than a year ago. The purpose of the new facility is to aid in the production of EV batteries. This is the first US facility for the South Korean company.
“With the Tennessee cathode material plant as the center, LG Chem will undoubtedly leap to become the top cathode material supplier in North America,” LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol commented. “LG Chem will execute the vision to become the world's leading comprehensive battery material company, establishing a stable supply chain resilient to any environment.”
"Tennessee’s pro-business environment and skilled workforce provide global companies with the tools they need to succeed,” said TN Governor Bill Lee. “I congratulate LG Chem on today’s significant milestone and thank the company for its investment in Tennessee.”
Starting in 2026, the Tennessee cathode plant will mass-produce NCMA (Nickel, Cobalt, Manganese, and Aluminum) cathode materials. LG Chem plans to diversify its product portfolio through future-generation cathode material products and expand production capacity in response to increasing demand.
LG Chem previously signed a comprehensive agreement for the long-term supply of 950,000 tons of cathode materials with General Motors last year and a North American cathode material supply contract worth KRW 2.9 trillion (USD 2.5 billion) with Toyota in October this year.
Through the plant, LG Chem aims to actively respond to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of the Biden Administration, helping customers meet EV tax credits criteria. The Tennessee plant will secure a reliable supply chain for minerals and precursors from nations with US free trade agreements. For instance, it will utilize precursors from Ulsan by Korea Precursor Company (KPC), a joint venture of LG Chem and Korea Zinc.
LG Chem will enhance the manufacturing competitiveness of the Tennessee plant by advancing its engineering technology of the calcination process, securing the world's highest-level annual production capacity of 10,000 tons per line.
Smart factory technology will also be a part of the Tennessee plant, automating the entire production process and establishing a quality analysis and control system.
In addition, LG Chem is discussing collaboration with US battery recycling companies regarding material supply cooperation. The company plans to operate the plant with 100% renewable energy, including solar and hydro power, in collaboration with local power supply companies.
About the Author(s)
Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.
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