• Mar 14th 2010 at 3:14PM
  • 15
LG Chem has made it official. The South Korean manufacturer is moving forward with plans to start production of lithium ion cells in Michigan. LG Chem and its U.S. subsidiary, Compact Power Inc. (CPI), will spend $303 million to build the cell plant in Holland, on the west side of the state. By 2013, the facility figures to employ over 400 people. Groundbreaking will take place this summer, with the factory scheduled to be fully operational by 2012. At full production, the plant will have enough capacity to produce cells for 50,000 to 200,000 battery packs, depending on the configuration (E-REV vs PHEV).

LG Chem already has supply agreements in place with two major automakers, General Motors and Hyundai-Kia. Hyundai is using LG Chem cells and battery packs in the Korean-market Elantra hybrid, along with sister company Kia's Forte hybrid. Hyundai will launch the Sonata hybrid in the U.S. market later this year. General Motors uses LG Chem cells in a pack of its own design for the Chevrolet Volt. It'll also use the same cells in packs manufactured by CPI for an as-yet-unnamed plug-in hybrid vehicle based on the current two-mode system.

Along with the $700 million being invested by GM in assembly and systems manufacturing for the Volt in Michigan, this new LG Chem investment brings the total to over $1 billion. Much of the funding for the LG Chem plant will come from federal and state incentives, including a $151 million grant that CPI received last year as part of the stimulus bill. LG Chem will contribute matching funds to the program.

LG Chem joins A123 Systems and Johnson Controls-Saft (JCS) in manufacturing lithium ion batteries in Michigan. The JCS factory is also in Holland, while A123 is setting up shop closer to Detroit in Livonia. Check out the official press release after the jump.

[Source: LG Chem]
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More Than 400 Jobs Expected At Plant By 2013

Holland, Mich. – Officials in Holland are cheering the fact that LG Chem Ltd. today announced the company will build its new $303 million lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in Holland.

LG Chem estimates that over 400 jobs could be created by 2013 and many of the people will be hired and trained in advance of the plant being operational.

"LG Chem's selection of Holland to house the company's battery cell facility was a balanced decision based on the city's excellent infrastructure and proven, quality workforce," said Jae Ham, senior vice president, LG Chem.

Scheduled for groundbreaking this summer, the 650,000 square-foot facility will be financed in part from a $151.4 million grant the company received from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of the Recovery Act Award for Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative. LG Chem will also make a $151.5 million investment in the facility.

"What's more, LG Chem was impressed with Holland's outstanding determination and sincere effort and commitment to be at the forefront of the new green energy economy which will result in Michigan becoming the leader in the electric vehicle industry," Ham added.

LG Chem said it expects the plant to be fully operational in 2012. Initially, the plant will make cells for the highly-anticipated General Motors Chevrolet Volt.


The plant will be operated by LG Chem's North American subsidiary, Compact Power, Inc., and will be located on a 120-acre site located northeast of the intersection of South Waverly Road and East 48th Street. At its peak, the plant will produce enough cells for 50,000 to 200,000 vehicle battery packs.

"Thanks to a bold vision and aggressive strategy, Michigan is now the leader of the U.S. advanced-battery industry," Governor Jennifer M. Granholm said. "We thank LG Chem for its commitment to our state, and we are proud to partner with the company, the city of Holland and the Obama Administration to grow a new industry and new jobs here."

The governor said an incentive package from the state--which included a $100 million advanced battery cell tax credit, a 15-year job-creation tax credit worth $25.2 million, a Renaissance Zone designation and job-training assistance--helped Michigan seal the deal and win the new battery cell facility over competing national and international sites.

"It's very exciting that LG Chem has chosen Holland as the site of this critically important project, and we look forward to welcoming our new neighbor to the community," said Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra. "There are defining moments in any community's history. I believe that, years from now, today's announcement will be viewed as one of those moments for Holland, Michigan."

LG Chem's confirmation of the Holland location comes more than a year after Lakeshore Advantage officials first learned of the opportunity and began developing a community effort to win the project.

"With this announcement Holland becomes the center of lithium-ion manufacturing in North America," said Randy Thelen, president of Lakeshore Advantage.

About LG Chem, Ltd.

LG Chem, Ltd. whose 2009 revenue was $13.6 billion, is Korea's largest chemical and rechargeable battery maker in terms of both size and performance. The company's chemical business is vertically integrated and manufactures a wide range of products, from petrochemical goods to high-value added plastics. It also extends its chemical expertise into high-tech areas such as rechargeable batteries and the display materials field, and is now a leading player in the advanced battery industry for electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and hybrid electric vehicle applications. For more information, please visit our website at HYPERLINK "http://www.lgchem.com/" \o "http://www.lgchem.com/"www.lgchem.com.

About Compact Power, Inc.

Compact Power, Inc. (CPI) is a North American subsidiary of LG Chem, one of the world's largest producers of lithium-ion batteries for automotive hybrid electric vehicles and non-automotive (commercial and military) markets. The company was formed in 2000 in the United States and is headquartered in Troy, Mich., at the heart of the automotive industry. CPI's mission is to become the supplier of choice for lithium-ion battery technology. To learn more about CPI, please visit: HYPERLINK "http://www.compactpower.com"www.compactpower.com.

About Lakeshore Advantage

Lakeshore Advantage, founded in 2003 by area businesses and community leaders from across the region, delivers high level business growth and attraction economic development services, supports a new wave of entrepreneurialism and drives an innovation agenda to help move the Holland, Zeeland and Saugatuck area forward. Lakeshore Advantage fosters and implements cutting-edge strategies for sound economic development in the Lakeshore area to enhance the region's quality of life.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Will the battery factory be union or non-union?
      If it's a unionized plant, it'll be just another future failure.

      Unions are parasites that ultimately kill their hosts!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Gee! Sorry, Hackman.
        I guess you are, indeed, a union hack.


        Want proof?
        OK: GM, Chrysler, California--whose unionized public employees are bankrupting the state, and teacher unions that are ruining public education (bring on the vouchers!).

        Maybe YOU should shut up.
      • 5 Years Ago

      Sales division in Richmond, NJ,
      Semiconductor Plant in Austin, Tx


      Sales division in Fountain Valley, CA,
      R&D Tech center, Michigan
      Design studio, California
      Proving ground, California
      Manufacutring plant, Montgomery, AL


      Manufacturing plant, West Point, GA
      Sales division, CA
      Proving ground, California
      Technical center, Michigan


      Battery cell plant Holland, MI
        • 5 Years Ago
        That is tens of thousands of jobs right there, not including the supplier jobs and the moms/pop stores springing around it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Glad for the new jobs, but they come at a cost of around $300k each, over a 15-year period it's around $20k per job. Of course, this doesn't factor in the jobs created by the actual construction phase, nor the suppliers, infrastructure network and service jobs. This might actually be a good thing. 400 jobs for Michigan, plus 10 for each of these jobs in the service/supply sector, 4,400 jobs. It's a start at recovering the millions of jobs lost.

      Don't mean to be a downer, it is a start.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ugh..why cant they use existing buildings? There are so many unused warehouses/factories that they can refurbish and build the Li-Ion fab. But no they have to use new land and rape the enviroment more.

      There needs to be laws against this and/or incentives to use existing industrial land.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fatima, you have a valid argument, but there are functional limitations to these aging 19th and early 20th century factories. Everything from layout to physical quality of walls, floors and foundations, etc. render these structures difficult to repair and extremely costly to refurbish. A former for tanning leather factory or a warehouse for wooden crates don't necessarily make great facilities for high technology. And you have to also remember that it's not just a huge assembly line they're dealing with. There will probably be testing facilities, offices and laboratories that require massively complex information technology and electrical connections.

        If people want to do something for the environment, they should tear down these decrepit, inoperable, outdated structures and recycle the metal, concrete and bricks. Then properly dispose of asbestos, clean up the subterranean pool of oil, chemicals and other wonderful hazards steeped in the ground. When all that's done, bring in organic soil and plant thousands of trees to replenish the old-growth forests in Michigan chopped up by home manufactures like Aladdin 100 years ago.

      • 5 Years Ago
      As a resident of Holland, MI...this news was very welcome, as a lot of places have closed and lots of people have been laid off since I moved here back in 2003. Needless to say, the city is very excited about the new LG plant and the 400 jobs it will provide (at an average salary of over $4K/month)...can't wait to see how many tens of thousands of applicants they get though, seeing as unemployment in this state is still well over 14%.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lol, as American originated companies ship job overseas... Overseas originated companies ship job to America. I am starting to almost enjoy this pattern =)... (except the you know, American companies shipping jobs overseas part)

      Kudos for LG, you'll have my uhm... next cellphone from me?

        • 5 Years Ago
        It's great to hear Korean chaebols (LG, Hyundai/Kia, etc.) setting up shop and creating American jobs in these US shores (my ex is a current Samsung Fabrics div. employee)..

        And oh btw, I happen to be an LG cell (and pc/tv monitor) owner...call quality/signal reliability performs way better than my quirky Sony Ericssons of old.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Probably has quite a bit to do with the ever-depreciating dollar. But then again, it's been depreciating a long time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hydrogen Fuel Cells is where we should be focusing our efforts PERIOD! Infrastructure please...
        • 5 Years Ago

        In this day and age, any one can own stock in multi-national corporations.

        Personally, I'd much rather see a foreign-originated multi-national corporation set up factories here, than have a domestic multi-national abandon the US and set up shop overseas (think of all the US manufacturers which have abandoned the US for China; those "profits" aren't doing nearly the good as one might think).
        • 5 Years Ago
        As good as you make it sound, you have to asked yourself "where will the profits be going to"? We as a Nation should be concerned about giving what is to be a huge future industry.... to a foreign country. Those new jobs created can be here today, but gone tomorrow. As the economy changes, there is nothing to prevent those jobs from going overseas, if it becomes advantages for them. This new industry is one which will be just as important as the ICE which it will replace. Also, I don't like my tax dollars going to a foreign countries. Try that in reverse in Japan....it could never happen. That is why if we don't wake up, we'll lose ownership to all our great companies!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      By the way, Hyundai is using LG Chem's lithium POLYMER battery technology rather than the lithium ion or nickel metal hydride tech the other companies are using. This is 3rd generation technology.
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