LG Chem has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state of Tennessee to establish a new cathode manufacturing facility.
Ahead of its 2025 launch, the company will invest more than $3 billion to build the plant – which covers an area spanning 420 acres. Construction is set to begin in the first quarter of 2023, with mass production expected to commence in the second half of 2025. By 2027, LG Chem is looking to produce 120,000 tons of cathode material annually – enough to power 1.2 million EVs offering a 310-mile (500-km) driving range.
The Clarksville site will play a key role in the company’s larger strategy to boost its battery materials business from KRW 5 trillion ($3.7 billion) in 2022 to KRW 20 trillion ($14 billion) by 2027. Its location plays a similarly important role due to its proximity to key customers, ease of transporting raw materials, and the active cooperation of the state and local governments. LG Chem also envisions the Tennessee site as a supply chain hub, where material and recycling partners work together to supply global customers.
The new facility will produce advanced NCMA (nickel, cobalt, manganese, and aluminum) cathode materials for new EV batteries that offer enhanced capacity and stability. The production technologies used in the Tennessee plant will help LG Chem produce more than 10,000 tons of cathode material per line. Its existing smart factory technology will likewise be integrated into the Tennessee plant to automate the full production process, while establishing a quality analysis and control system. Operations like these conducted at the new facility will fully rely on renewable energy provided by solar and hydroelectric power.