LG Chem has signed of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state of Tennessee to establish a new cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville with an investment of more than $3 billion.
The company says the new plant in Clarksville, Tennessee will be the largest of its kind in the United States, covering 420 acres with a production target of 120,000 tons of cathode material annually by 2027 to power batteries in 1.2 million pure electric vehicles with a range of 310 miles per charge. Construction of the plant will begin in the first quarter of next year with mass production to start in the second half of 2025. The company says the Tennessee site will play a critical role in LG Chem’s strategy to increase its battery materials business including cathode material fourfold from KRW 5 trillion (approx. $3.8 billion) in 2022 to KRW 20 trillion (approx. $15.2 billion) by 2027.
The new facility will produce advanced NCMA cathode materials containing nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum for next-generation EV batteries with improved battery capacity and stability, the company says. NCMA cathode materials are among the most critical ingredients for determining the battery capacity and life of electric vehicles. The Tennessee plant will feature LG Chem’s most advanced production technology, the company says, including the ability to produce more than 10,000 tons of cathode material per line.
LG Chem says Tennessee was the best choice due to its proximity to key customers, ease of transporting raw materials and active cooperation of the state and local governments. The Tennessee facility allows LG Chem to proactively address the changing dynamics of the global battery material market and with legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). In addition to the benefits realized by investing in manufacturing on U.S. soil, LG Chem envisions the Tennessee site being the supply chain hub where material and recycling partners work together to supply global customers.