LG Chem, a South Korean company has announced its plans to build the largest EV battery cathode manufacturing plant in the U.S. The one-of-a-kind facility will be located in Clarksville, Tennessee with construction set to start in 2023.
The company has already signed a memorandum of understanding with the state of Tennessee. If all goes according to plan, the company will be producing up to 120,000 tons of cathode material by 2027. Such a massive production will speed up the transition to electric cars in the U.S. and the world over. The materials produced by the plant are expected to be enough for 1.2 million electric cars each year.
As a result, the whole investment will cost upwards of $3 billion and will happen in phases. Production will not start until 2025, during the second phase of construction. Furthermore, the new factory will be instrumental in its strategy to increase the battery material business. The company targets to increase cathode material production from the current 5 trillion KRW to 20 trillion KRW ($14.8 billion) by 2027.
According to a press release by the company, the decision to locate the factory in the U.S. was informed by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). In August, President Biden signed the IRA, making it easier for foreign firms to manufacture solar and EV accessories in the U.S.
“For LG Chem, Tennessee was the best choice due to its proximity to key customers, ease of transporting raw materials and active cooperation of the state and local governments,” stated the press release. “In addition to the benefits realized by investing in manufacturing on U.S. soil, LG Chem envisions the Tennessee site being the supply chain hub where material and recycling partners work together to supply global customers.”
Additionally, LG Chem’s latest venture will feature the latest technology in cathode chemistry. The company has unveiled the NCMA technology, which is also used by GM’s Ultrium Cells. The technology utilizes nickel, cobalt aluminium and manganese to make EV batteries more lasting.
The plant will help LG Chem to produce more than 10,000 tons of cathode material per line. This will be the industry’s highest and will pave way for the heavy production of car batteries.
Via Inside EVs
Lead image via LG Chem