LG Chem officials announced the company’s plan to invest approximately $3.2 billion to establish a new cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville, which will support the electric vehicle battery value-chain in the U.S.
LG Chem’s anticipated investment of approximately $3.2 billion represents the single largest announced foreign direct investment in Tennessee’s history., officials said. The project is expected to create 860 new jobs in Montgomery County.
The Clarksville facility will be the largest of its kind in the U.S.
and is expected to produce roughly 120,000 tons of cathode material annually by 2027, which is enough to power batteries in 1.2 million electric vehicles with a range of 310 miles per charge.
The current plan is for the state-of-the-art facility to be constructed on 420 acres at the Allensworth site in Clarksville. Construction is slated to begin in Q1 2023, and the plant is scheduled to be in production by the second half of 2025. Once operational, the facility will produce cathode materials, which are one of the most critical ingredients for manufacturing electric vehicle batteries.
Officials said, "The Tennessee site will play a critical role in LG Chem’s strategy to increase its battery materials business by producing advanced NCMA cathode materials containing nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum for next-generation EV batteries with improved battery capacity and stability.
"In addition, the Clarksville facility will feature LG Chem’s most advanced production technology, including the ability to produce more than 10,000 tons of cathode material per line, the industry’s highest. LG Chem also plans to implement its smart factory technology in Tennessee to automate the entire production process and establish a quality analysis and control system that will be the benchmark for all other cathode plants in the world.
"The new facility will be designed with the environment and future needs of clean energy in mind. LG Chem will collaborate with power suppliers in Tennessee to respond to the demands of customers, including battery and electric vehicle manufacturers, for more renewable energy sources. Operation of the new facility will rely completely on renewable energy provided by solar and hydroelectric power.
"Founded in 1947 and headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, LG Chem is a leading chemical and science-oriented company focused on moving toward a more sustainable future. LG Chem has nearly 19,000 employees across more than 50 global business sites, and in 2021, had sales of more than $37 billion.
"South Korea is one of Tennessee’s top 10 countries for foreign direct investment. There are approximately 20 Korean-based establishments that have invested $2.3 billion and employ more than 3,500 people across the state. LG Chem’s $3.2 billion investment will more than double the investments made by South Korean-based companies.
"LG Chem’s significant investment and job creation contribute to Tennessee’s continued growth in electric vehicle manufacturing. Since 2017, companies have pledged to create more than 11,000 new jobs and invested $12.7 billion in the state through EV-related projects. In addition, more than 180,000 electric vehicles have been produced in Tennessee since 2013, which ranks the state No. 1 in the Southeast for electric vehicle manufacturing."
“LG Chem’s decision to invest $3.2 billion in Clarksville is a testament to Tennessee’s unmatched business climate, skilled workforce and position as a leader in the automotive industry. I thank this company for creating more than 850 new jobs to provide opportunity to Tennesseans across Montgomery County,” said Governor Bill Lee.
“This is a big win for Tennessee and Montgomery County. LG Chem’s decision to locate its new cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville underscores Tennessee’s growing profile as a hub for U.S. and global companies. As we continue our efforts to attract companies in the automotive industry, we are focused on supporting companies that boost Tennessee’s presence in the EV space. I appreciate LG Chem for its substantial investment in Clarksville and look forward to building a successful partnership with the company in the years ahead," said TNECD Commissioner Stuart McWhorter.
“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. This site will be the North American manufacturing center of excellence for the cathode supply chain and lead to the creation of many well-paying jobs, contributing to the local economy in Clarksville," said CEO of LG Chem Hak-Cheol Shin.
“Montgomery County, Tennessee is poised and ready for the electric vehicle industry. This is the largest investment ever made in Montgomery County and we embrace this opportunity. Thank you to those who worked so hard in the forefront and behind the scenes to make this a reality for middle Tennessee and our community. Bringing LG Chem has been an intentional effort on the part of the state and local economic development councils to bring high quality employment to Montgomery County. An investment like this is a game-changer we do not take for granted. We will work to build lasting relationships with LG Chem and help them be successful partners within the community. Montgomery County is rich in history with a bright future ahead,” said Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden.
“We are grateful that LG Chem will expand their investment in Clarksville, providing an historic level of capital investment along with hundreds of new, high-paying jobs for families in our growing community. This announcement is more good news for our community, and further proves Clarksville-Montgomery County is on the right track in our economic development efforts,” said City of Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts.
“TVA and Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation congratulate LG Chem on its decision to establish operations and create impactful job opportunities and investment in Clarksville. We are proud to partner with the Clarksville Montgomery County Industrial Development Board and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to support companies like LG Chem, that help drive innovation in the Valley and we celebrate this announcement together,” said John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development.
“This is great news and I congratulate Governor Bill Lee, Commissioner Stuart McWhorter and all who helped secure what is one of the largest economic development projects in Tennessee history. Montgomery County’s location and workforce make it a leader in job growth for the state. We are excited by LG Chem’s announcement and wish them every success as they move forward,” said Senator Bill Powers.
“Tennessee continues to attract companies with a world-class reputation in the automobile industry. This impressive new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Clarksville represents the single largest announced foreign direct investment by a business in our state’s history. I am proud to welcome LG Chem to our community, and I look forward to the remarkable impact this project will have in Montgomery County for generations to come,” said Rep. Curtis Johnson.