Tesla battery partner LG Chem to invest $5B to produce EV battery materials

Tesla’s 4680 battery

LG Chem plans to invest 6 trillion KRW ($5 billion) to produce EV battery materials for separators, cathodes, anodes, and other key elements.

On Wednesday, LG Chem’s CEO Hak Cheol announced the company’s plans to grow into the world’s largest comprehensive battery materials producer. The EV battery supplier expects the battery materials market to grow quickly between 2021 to 2026, from 39 trillion ($34 billion) KRW to 100 trillion KRW ($87 billion).

LG Chem’s plan starts with its Gumi Plant in Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. The battery cell manufacturer invested 500 billion KRW (~$400 million) to build the Gumi Plant, which makes cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries.

The Tesla battery supplier wants the upgrade the Gumi Plant so it could have the capacity to manufacture up to 60,000-tons of anode material by December. Through the upgrade, LG Chem plans to increase its anode production capacity from 40,000 tons in 2020 to 260,000 tons by 2026.



In the petrochemicals business, LG Chem’s core business area, the company plans to scale its Carbon Nanotube (CNT) production from 1,700 tons in 2021 to triple or more by 2025. To achieve its goals in the petrochemical industry, LG Chem plans to increase the production capacity of its CNT Plant 2 and build a third plant.

LG Chem is also planning to build a global production base as soon as possible. It is actively reviewing mergers and acquisitions (M&A), along with joint ventures (JV) with companies. Plus, the battery supplier is focusing on R&D resources to differentiate its technologies and become a market leader in the EV battery material industry.

“Over 30 projects including M&As, joint ventures (JV), strategic investments, etc. to make a paradigm shift to an ESG-based (environmental, social, and governance) business portfolio are being reviewed,” said LG Chem’s CEO. “This will be the most revolutionary change since the establishment of the company that will upgrade the value and sustainability of LG Chem, and tangible achievements will become [evident by] the second half of this year.”

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