LG Chem Initiates $1.4 Billion Cathode Plant Construction in U.S.

SEOUL - LG Chem Ltd., a leading South Korean chemical firm, announced on Wednesday the commencement of its cathode plant construction in the United States. The project, valued at 1.8 trillion won (approximately $1.4 billion), aims to address the escalating demand for electric vehicles (EVs).

According to Yonhap News Agency, the plant, capable of producing 60,000 tons of cathodes annually, is scheduled to begin operations in 2026. The facility will focus on supplying cathodes, a crucial battery component, to various clients within the U.S., which is considered a key market in the global automobile industry. Cathodes, composed of nickel, cobalt, manganese, and aluminum, play a vital role in determining the capacity and lifespan of lithium-ion battery cells used in EVs, with the quality and proportion of these minerals, along with the manufacturing technology, being critical factors.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the plant took place on Tuesday in Clarksville, Tennessee. LG Chem's Vice Chairman and CEO, Shin Hak-cheol, expressed the company's ambition at the event, stating their goal to become the leading cathode supplier in the U.S. market by offering unique value to their customers.

Further solidifying its presence in the U.S. market, LG Chem has secured major supply agreements with General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. In the previous year, LG Chem finalized a deal to supply GM plants with 950,000 tons of cathodes. More recently, in October, the company signed a 2.9 trillion-won contract with Toyota to provide cathodes for the Japanese automaker's U.S. facilities.

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