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LG Chem to build lithium ion cell factory in Holland, MI

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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]

Continue reading LG Chem to build lithium ion cell factory in Holland, MI

LG Chem to build lithium ion cell factory in Holland, MI originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 14 Mar 2010 15:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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