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LG Chem to make largest announced foreign direct investment in state’s history

Talk about staggering and another notch for Tennessee’s stated goal of being the top state in the country for electric vehicles and the supporting supply chain.

In what would be the single largest announced foreign direct investment in Tennessee’s history, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter and LG Chem officials yesterday announced the company’s plan to invest approximately $3.2 billion to establish a new cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville, which will support the electric vehicle battery value-chain in the U.S.

The 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 current plan is for the state-of-the-art facility to be constructed on 420 acres at the Allensworth site in Clarksville. Construction is slated to begin in Q1 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 Tennessee site 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.

In addition, the Clarksville facility will 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 also 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.

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