LG Energy Solution Executive Vice President Kim Dong-myung, left, poses with GM CEO Mary Barra after announcing its $2.6 billion investment to build the third battery plant in the United States. Photo courtesy of LG Energy Solution

Joint venture will invest $2.6 billion to create 1,700 jobs

Ultium Cells, the joint venture of LG Energy Solution and General Motors, recently said that it will build the third battery cell plant in the United States, which will start manufacturing in 2025.

The 2.8 million-square foot facility in Michigan is set to create 1,700 jobs and have a battery cell capacity of 50 gigawatt hours to be provided to 700,000 electric vehicles.

It is expected to take $2.6 billion to build the state-of-the-art factory.

As the joint venture is constructing two other battery plants in Ohio and Tennessee, their overall capacity is set to reach 120 gigawatt hours.

“This significant investment demonstrates our commitment to strengthen our Michigan and U.S. manufacturing presence and grow good-paying jobs,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement.

“We will have the products, the battery cell capacity, and the vehicle assembly capacity to be the EV leader by mid-decade.”

LG Energy Solution CEO Kwon Young-soo said that the Korean battery maker would put forth efforts so as to preempt the global EV competition.

“Our third battery manufacturing plant, fittingly located in America’s automotive heartland, will serve as a gateway to charge thousands and later millions of EVs in the future,” he said in a statement.

Prof. Kim Pil-soo from Daelim University pointed out that the cooperation would continue between automakers and battery makers.

“The supply for rechargeable batteries would fail to meet the demand for them at lest over the next five years,” Kim expected. “Hence, carmakers team up with battery producers for stable supply.”

Meanwhile, LG Energy Solution went public on Jan. 27 on the Korean stock exchange, raising $11 billion.

On the debut day, its price almost doubled so that its market capitalization was just below $100 billion to become South Korea’s second-largest company only after Samsung Electronics.

But it plunged almost 11 percent on Jan. 28 so that its market capitalization receded to $87 billion.

The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.