LG Chem to construct $3 billion Tennessee cathode plant for GM Ultium EV batteries – Autoblog

SEOUL — South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd stated on Tuesday it’ll make investments greater than $3 billion to construct a battery cathode manufacturing facility in Tennessee, because it ramps up plans to satisfy rising demand for U.S. electric vehicle parts.

It is one of many first main EV-related investments introduced by a South Korean agency in the USA since a brand new U.S. legislation was handed in August that places automakers and battery suppliers relying closely on China for sourcing at a price drawback.

Mass manufacturing is about to start out exterior of Clarksville within the second half of 2025 and the plant will create greater than 850 jobs, LG Chem stated in an announcement. The plant is slated to have an annual manufacturing capability of 120,000 tons of cathode supplies by 2027, sufficient to energy about 1.2 million electrical automobiles, it added.

Its shares climbed 1.9% on the information, outperforming a 0.3% decline for the broader market.

LG Chem added that it is usually pursuing cooperation with mining corporations and recycling corporations to raised assist its prospects in order that necessities of the brand new legislation, the Inflation Discount Act, may be met.

LG Chem is anticipated to provide cathode supplies to Ultium Cells, a battery three way partnership between General Motors and LG Chem’s subsidiary LG Power Answer Ltd (LGES).

LGES, which provides batteries to Tesla Inc, Ford Motor Co and Hyundai Motor Co amongst others, final month raised its 2022 income outlook to 25 trillion gained ($18.4 billion) from 22 trillion, citing new tasks from automakers.

LG Chem’s new plant will make cathodes for batteries with a nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum (NCMA) chemistry. The NCMA battery, which is about 90% nickel, permits producers to scale back their reliance on costly cobalt, and cut back their publicity to refining and processing in China.

China at present has 75% of the world’s cobalt refining capability and 50% of the lithium processing capability, in keeping with Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

GM has stated it’ll use NCMA battery cathodes from LG Chem for a spread of EVs utilizing Ultium-branded batteries.

The Inflation Discount Act will, amongst different measures, require from subsequent 12 months that not less than 40% of the financial worth of important minerals for batteries be from the USA or an American free-trade companion with a purpose to qualify for U.S. tax credit. That share will rise to 80% in 2027.

Automakers akin to Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp have been hit laborious by the brand new legislation, which instantly ended credit for about 70% of the 72 automobile fashions that had been beforehand eligible for EV subsidies.

At this month’s G20 summit, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol requested U.S. President Joe Biden to forestall discriminatory measures in opposition to South Korean corporations, his workplace stated.

It added Biden had replied that the implementation of the legislation ought to account for the contribution of South Korean funding within the U.S. financial system.


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