LG Chem commences construction of mega CAM factory in Tennessee

The South Korean battery cell manufacturer has started constructing its battery factory in Tennessee. The Clarksville plant is set to become the largest in the USA, even after LG Chem scaled back its investment and building plans.

LG Chem is now talking about investing around 1.6 billion dollars, down from 3.2 billion announced in November 2022. The new plans also set the annual capacity at 60,000 tonnes instead of 120,000. This should still be enough to build batteries for around 600,000 electric vehicles with a 500 km range but not 1.2 million as previously envisioned.

Construction is also slightly behind schedule as it was to start in Q1/2023, with production set for mid-2025. The start of operations is now scheduled for 2026 and produce NCMA (Nickel, Cobalt, Manganese, Aluminum) cathode materials. 

LG Chem also stated today plans to diversify its product portfolio through future-generation cathode material products and expand production capacity in response to increasing demand. 

The company reportedly signed a long-term supply deal with General Motors last year for 950,000 tons of cathode materials for Ultium Cells, the joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solutions. LG Chem also points to a CAM supply contract worth $2.5 billion with Toyota in October this year. 

The South Korean company said the decision to locate the plant in Tennessee was made “due to its proximity to important customers, easy transport of raw materials and active cooperation with the state government and local authorities”. Like many recent investors, the group cites the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as an incentive to increase its activities in North America.

The Tennessee site joins LG’s manufacturing network with several factories in South Korea and one in Wuxi, China. The new factory in the USA will serve as a future hub to supply both national and global customers. LG Chem adds that the new plant would serve as a “base for communication with customers, producing customized cathode materials optimized for North American electric vehicles from the development stage”.

“With the Tennessee cathode material plant as the centre, LG Chem will undoubtedly leap to become North America’s top cathode material supplier,” CEO Shin Hak-cheol commented.



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