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Battery-site plan to be revealed

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Battery-site plan to be revealed

400 jobs set making cells for Volt, others

BY JEWEL GOPWANI

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

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Korean battery maker LG Chem and its U.S. subsidiary Compact Power are expected to announce today plans to make battery cells for electric vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt, in Holland, Mich., two people familiar with the plans said Thursday.

The plant is expected to create 400 jobs and 15 million to 20 million battery cells a year, the Free Press has reported.

LG Chem's new $300-million lithium-ion battery plant is one of four projects under way in Michigan using federal grants for advanced battery production in the U.S.

The vast majority of advanced battery cells are made in Japan, Korea and China.

"When you look at the world market, there are virtually no cells made in the U.S., said Jeff Chamberlain, senior account manager of the technology and commercialization division at Argonne National Laboratory.

Compact Power spokesman Dick Pacini declined to comment on the announcement.

LG Chem said in a regulatory filing in October that it would complete construction of a battery plant in Holland by the end of June 2013.

The company has $151.4 million in grants from the Department of Energy for the plant.

The City of Holland expects LG Chem to use 70 acres in the city, said City Manager Soren Wolff.

The city is purchasing an additional 50 acres from adjacent Fillmore Township for more than $800,000 to sell to LG Chem for the project.

Separately, Johnson Controls, through its joint venture with French battery company Saft, is retrofitting a lithium-ion battery factory in Holland. A123 Systems and Dow Kokam also plan to build advanced batteries in Michigan.

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100312/BUSINESS01/3120335/1210/Battery-site-plan-to-be-revealed

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