LG Chem has began construction of a new U.S. cathode plant as it strengthens its commitment to establishing a global production hub for battery materials. Situated in Montgomery County in Clarksville, TN, the facility aims to locally manufacture cathode materials for EVs in the North America market, while engaging in collaborative efforts with key partners across the development and supply chain stages.

The LG subsidiary will invest around KRW 2 trillion ($1.6 billion) in the initial phase. Its plant, which will reside on a 1.7 million square meter site, will have an annual capacity of 60,000 tons – sufficient for the supply of approximately 600,000 high-performance pure EVs.

Scheduled to commence mass production in 2026, the Tennessee cathode plant will focus on the development of NCMA (Nickel, Cobalt, Manganese, Aluminum) cathode materials. Here, LG Chem will look to broaden its product portfolio to include next-generation cathode material products while concurrently expanding production capacity to meet rising EV demand. The company had previously announced comprehensive agreements for long-term cathode material supply, totaling 950,000 tons, with GM in 2022 and secured a North American cathode material supply contract valued at KRW2.9 trillion ($2.5 billion) with Toyota in October 2023.

In locating the plant in Tennessee, LG Chem cited the state’s optimal geographical accessibility for customer deliveries and raw material imports. The company also plans to leverage the facility as a hub for customer communication, enabling the production of customized cathode materials tailored for North American EVs from the development stage.

In alignment with the region’s Inflation Reduction Act, LG Chem will aim for its Tennesse plant to actively support customers in meeting EV tax credit criteria. To ensure a stable supply chain, the facility will source its minerals and precursors from US trade partners, with a specific focus on utilizing precursors from Korea Precursor Company, a joint venture between LG Chem and Korea Zinc located in Ulsan.

More broadly, LG Chem is actively exploring collaboration opportunities with battery recycling companies based in the U.S. for material supply cooperation. As part of its commitment to sustainability, the company plans to operate the plant using fully renewable energy, including solar and hydrogen power, in partnership with local power supply companies.