LG Chem
Lg Chem Clarksville 637cf84e64ac5

LG Chem Commits $3B+ to Tennessee Cathode Plant

Nov. 22, 2022
The factory will employ nearly 900 people when it opens in about three years.

Executives of LG Chem plan to invest $3.2 billion to build a cathode factory north of Nashville they say will be the largest of its kind in the country.

LG Chem’s investment on 420 acres in Clarksville calls for the production of 120,000 tons annually of cathode material for electric vehicle batteries by 2027, roughly 18 months after the plant’s scheduled opening date. Construction is slated to start early next year and the factory is projected to employ 860 jobs.

“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,” LG Chem CEO Chem Hak-Cheol Shin said in a statement. “This site will be the North American manufacturing center of excellence for the cathode supply chain.”

Seoul-based LG Chem, which was founded in 1947 and employs about 19,000 people around the world, had 2021 sales of more than $37 billion. Its Tennessee investment is part of executives’ plan to quadruple their battery materials business to about $15 billion between now and 2027. The Clarksville plant will make next-generation cathodes containing nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum.

Other EV players also have been investing in their battery supply chains: Among others, General Motors Corp. and POSCO Chemical announced a $400 million plant in March to build a factory in Canada and BMW Group executives last month said their U.S. expansion plans include a new battery cell plant in South Carolina.

“An investment like this is a game-changer we do not take for granted,” said Wes Golden, mayor of Montgomery County, which is home to Clarksville and which recently also landed a big investment commitment from another Korean manufacturing giant, Hankook. “We will work to build lasting relationships with LG Chem and help them be successful partners within the community.”

About the Author

Geert De Lombaerde | Senior Editor

A native of Belgium, Geert De Lombaerde has been in business journalism since the mid-1990s and writes about public companies, markets and economic trends for Endeavor Business Media publications, focusing on IndustryWeek, FleetOwner, Oil & Gas JournalT&D World and Healthcare Innovation. He also curates the twice-monthly Market Moves Strategy newsletter that showcases Endeavor stories on strategy, leadership and investment and contributes to other Market Moves newsletters.

With a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, he began his reporting career at the Business Courier in Cincinnati in 1997, initially covering retail and the courts before shifting to banking, insurance and investing. He later was managing editor and editor of the Nashville Business Journal before being named editor of the Nashville Post in early 2008. He led a team that helped grow the Post's online traffic more than fivefold before joining Endeavor in September 2021.

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