LG Chem was in the final steps of approving its spending plan to build a battery cathode factory in the US, TheElec has learned.
The company is likely to build the factory in Clarksville, Tennessee, where subsidiary LG Energy Solution is building two factories through its joint venture with General Motors.
The project, called Columbus internally, will likely see the company build the factory in some 1.69 million meter square of space at Clarksville.
LG Chem has not finalized how much it will spend. However, given that the cathode factory will need to produce enough to power batteries made in three factories with a combined annual capacity of 120GWh, the spending volume will likely be in the billions of dollars.
Clarksville and Tennessee are seeking US$3.2 billion in funding for an unspecified project, which is likely LG Chem’s.
In July, the South Korean chemical giant signed a comprehensive agreement with General Motors to supply over 950,000 metric tonnes of cathode up to 2030, enough to power 5 million electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, LG Chem is planning to manufacture mostly high-nickel cathodes.
This means it will likely make NCM622 (nickel, cobalt, and manganese in a 6 to 2 to 2 ratio) and NCMA cathodes.
LG Chem is likely to have up to 12 production lines, each with an annual capacity of 10,000 metric tonnes.
The company’s current global total capacity is around 80,000 metric tonnes and it is planning to expand this to 260,000 metric tonnes by 2026.
It is also developing cobalt-free cathodes and single-crystal cathodes.