South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution aims to have a global production capacity of 520 GWh/year by 2025, a more than 2.6 time spike, the company said April 27, with 41% of the output based in North America.
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To support the expansion, LGES will raise its capital expenditure to Won 7 trillion ($5.54 billion) for 2022, a 75% spike from 2021. The investment will be slated for new plants in Canada, Indonesia and the US and for expansion projects, it said.
In North America, LGES has one joint venture plant with Stellantis at Windsor, Ontario, and three JVs with General Motors Co. plus two standalone plants at Holland, Michigan, and Queen Creek, Arizona.
Of the six plants, only two are operational, namely the Michigan plant and a JV plant with GM at Ohio, with production capacities of 4 GWh/year and 9 GWh/year, respectively.
In 2025, the Michigan plant will quintuple its output to 20 GWh/year, while the Ohio plant will increase its output by more than 4.4 times to 40 GWh/year.
Also in 2025, the Ontario plant is expected to come online with 45 GWh/year of capacity, making it Canada's first large-scale electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility.
LGES' two remaining JV plants with GM will start operations in 2025 too, bringing capacities of 45 GWh/year at Tennessee and 50 GWh/year at Michigan. LGES' standalone Arizona plant will start up in 2025, with 15 GWh/year of capacity.
When summed up, LGES will have 215 GWh/year of capacity in 2025 in North America, a more than 16.5 time spike from 13 GWh/year in 2022.
In South Korea, LGES will raise the capacity of its Ochang plant to 33 GWh/year in 2025 from a current 21 GWh/year. In China, it will boost the output of its Nanjing and Binjiang plants to 145 GWh/year, a 55.9% hike from 93 GWh/year in 2022.
In Association of Southeast Asian Nations market, LGES is setting up a JV plant with Hyundai Motor at Karawang, Indonesia, in 2025 with 12 GWh/year of fresh capacity.
In Europe, LGES will increase the output of its Wroclaw plant in Poland to 115 GWh/year in 2025 from 68 GWh/year in 2022.
To support its expansion plans, LGES intends to sign long-term agreements with or bolster strategic investment in suppliers of materials such as lithium, nickel and cobalt to ensure secure supply and price competitiveness.
LGES also aims to improve the thermal resistance of its batteries. To that end, its sister company, LG Chem has developed advanced plastic materials that can delay thermal runaway of EV batteries. Thermal runaway occurs when the temperature inside a battery reaches a point that causes a chemical reaction to occur inside the battery, resulting in fires and explosions.
LG Chem said April 25 that it plans to begin mass production of the advanced plastic in 2023, which is derived from polyphenylene oxide, polyamide and polybutylene terephthalate.