LG Chem to invest over $3 billion to construct U.S. battery cathode plant

By Heekyong Yang

SEOUL (Reuters) -South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd stated on Tuesday it will invest more than $3 billion to construct a battery cathode factory in Tennessee, as it increases strategies to fulfill increasing need for U.S. electrical automobile parts.

It’s one of the very first significant EV-related financial investments revealed by a South Korean company in the United States because a brand-new U.S. law was passed in August that puts car manufacturers and battery providers relying greatly on China for sourcing at an expense downside.

Mass production is set to begin in the 2nd half of 2025 and the plant will develop more than 850 tasks, LG Chem stated in a declaration.

The plant is slated to have a yearly production capability of 120,000 tonnes of cathode products by 2027, enough to power about 1.2 million electrical cars, it included.

Its shares climbed up 1.9% on the news, surpassing a 0.3% decrease for the more comprehensive market.

LG Chem included that it is likewise pursuing cooperation with mining companies and recycling business to much better support its consumers so that requirements of the brand-new law, the Inflation Reduction Act, can be fulfilled.

LG Chem is anticipated to provide cathode products to Ultium Cells, a battery joint endeavor in between General Motors and LG Chem’s subsidiary LG Energy Solution Ltd (LGES).

LGES, which provides batteries to Tesla Inc, Ford Motor Co and Hyundai Motor Co to name a few, last month raised its 2022 income outlook to 25 trillion won ($184 billion) from 22 trillion, pointing out brand-new tasks from car manufacturers.

LG Chem’s brand-new plant will make cathodes for batteries with a nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum (NCMA) chemistry. The NCMA battery, which has to do with 90% nickel, enables producers to decrease their dependence on costly cobalt, and decrease their direct exposure to refining and processing in China.

China presently has 75% of the world’s cobalt refining capability and 50% of the lithium processing capability, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.

GM has stated it will utilize NCMA battery cathodes from LG Chem for a variety of EVs utilizing Ultium-branded batteries.

The Inflation Reduction Act will, to name a few steps, need from next year that a minimum of 40% of the financial worth of important minerals for batteries be from the United States or an American free-trade partner in order to get approved for U.S. tax credits. That share will increase to 80% in 2027.

Automakers such as Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp have actually been struck hard by the brand-new law, which right away ended credits for about 70% of the 72 automobile designs that were formerly qualified for EV aids.

At this month’s G20 top, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol asked U.S. President Joe Biden to avoid inequitable procedures versus South Korean business, his workplace stated.

It included Biden had actually responded that the execution of the law ought to represent the contribution of South Korean financial investment in the U.S. economy.

($ 1=1,3581800 won)

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Edwina Gibbs)

Source: FXEmpire

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