LG Chem plans to invest approximately $3.2 billion to establish a new cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville, TN. The plant will support the electric vehicle battery value-chain in the U.S. The South Korea-based company’s investment of approximately $3.2 billion represents the single largest announced foreign direct investment (FDI) in Tennessee’s history, and is expected to create 860 new jobs in Montgomery County.
The Clarksville facility will be the largest of its kind in the U.S. and is expected to produce roughly 120,000 tons of cathode material annually by 2027, which is enough to power batteries in 1.2 million electric vehicles with a range of 310 miles per charge.
“The new cathode manufacturing facility in Tennessee brings us one step closer to becoming the world’s best battery materials manufacturer and fulfilling our corporate vision to become a top global science company,” said CEO of LG Chem Hak-Cheol Shin. “This site will be the North American manufacturing center of excellence for the cathode supply chain and lead to the creation of many well-paying jobs, contributing to the local economy in Clarksville.”
The state-of-the-art facility will be built on 420 acres at the Allensworth site in Clarksville. Construction is slated to begin in early 2023, and the plant is scheduled to be in production by the second half of 2025. Once operational, the facility will produce cathode materials, which are one of the most critical ingredients for manufacturing electric vehicle batteries.
The facility will play a critical role in LG Chem’s strategy to increase its battery materials business by producing advanced NCMA cathode materials containing nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum for next-generation EV batteries with improved battery capacity and stability.
The Clarksville facility will also feature LG Chem’s most advanced production technology, including the ability to produce more than 10,000 tons of cathode material per line, the industry’s highest. LG Chem plans to implement its smart factory technology in Tennessee to automate the entire production process and establish a quality analysis and control system that will be the benchmark for all other cathode plants in the world.
The new facility will be designed with the environment and future needs of clean energy in mind. LG Chem will collaborate with power suppliers in Tennessee to respond to the demands of customers, including battery and electric vehicle manufacturers, for more renewable energy sources. Operation of the new facility will rely completely on renewable energy provided by solar and hydroelectric power.
“LG Chem’s decision to invest $3.2 billion in Clarksville is a testament to Tennessee’s unmatched business climate, skilled workforce and position as a leader in the automotive industry,” said Governor Bill Lee. “I thank this company for creating more than 850 new jobs to provide opportunity to Tennesseans across Montgomery County.”
South Korea is one of Tennessee’s top 10 countries for foreign direct investment. There are approximately 20 Korean-based establishments that have invested $2.3 billion and employ more than 3,500 people across the state. LG Chem’s $3.2 billion investment will more than double the investments made by South Korean-based companies.
LG Chem’s significant investment and job creation contribute to Tennessee’s continued growth in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing. Since 2017, companies have pledged to create more than 11,000 new jobs and invested $12.7 billion in the state through EV-related projects. In addition, more than 180,000 electric vehicles have been produced in Tennessee since 2013.
“This is a big win for Tennessee and Montgomery County,” said Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Stuart McWhorter. “LG Chem’s decision to locate its new cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville underscores Tennessee’s growing profile as a hub for U.S. and global companies.
“As we continue our efforts to attract companies in the automotive industry, we are focused on supporting companies that boost Tennessee’s presence in the EV space,” McWhorter added. “I appreciate LG Chem for its substantial investment in Clarksville and look forward to building a successful partnership with the company in the years ahead.”