LG Energy Solution (LGES), one of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers, prepares a major upgrade for its main domestic plant in Ochang, South Korea.
According to the company (via Yonhap News Agency and Reuters), LGES plans to invest 4 trillion won ($3.1 billion) over the next few years (through 2026) and create additional 1,800 new jobs.
There are no details like an annual GWh output, but it seems that we are talking about a very significant project, which will include not only expansion of the manufacturing side, but also new R&D facilities and related general infrastructure.
Reuters reports that LG Energy Solution’s spokesperson said that the site will be engaged in both pouch-type and cylindrical battery cells:
“We plan to set up a diversified product portfolio including pouch-type and cylindrical batteries to respond to customer needs in a timely manner, and differentiate production capabilities based on a ‘smart’ factory,”
It’s worth noting that the latest news comes on top of the 730 billion KRW ($568 million) investment plan, announced in June, to expand production of cylindrical cells by 13 GWh/year – 2170-type (by 4 GWh/year) as well as the new 4680-type (9 GWh/year).
We assume that the South Korean company notes a growing demand for all types of its batteries, as the EV market is growing quite quickly, despite various challenges in the global economy.
Before 2022, LG Energy Solution’s expansion efforts were focused mostly on other markers – large new plants were built in Europe, China and North America. Meanwhile, the 33 GWh plant in South Korea has become only a small part of the company’s overall global manufacturing footprint.
With $3 billion amount, the production output might be doubled or even tripled. However, it’s difficult to say which cell form factor will get the biggest boost.
It’s also not said which customers are interested in additional batteries produced locally in South Korea (Hyundai Motor Group is probably one of them).
Sources: Reuters, Yonhap News Agency
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