LG Chem made it official today. 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 Michigan. By 2013, the facility figures to employ over 400 people. Groundbreaking will start this summer with the factory fully operational by 2012. At full production, the plant will have enough capacity to produce cells for 50,000-200,000 packs depending on the configuration (E-REV vs PHEV).

LG Chem already has supply agreements 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, which builds the Forte hybrid. Hyundai will be launching the Sonata hybrid in the U.S. market later this year.

General Motors is using LG Chem cells in a pack of its own design for the Chevrolet Volt. It will also use the same cells in packs manufactured by CPI for a plug-in hybrid based on the two-mode system for an as yet unnamed vehicle. With Volt cell manufacturing moving to Michigan, the majority of the value of the new car will be manufactured within a fairly small geographic area. Along with the $700 million being invested by GM in assembly and systems manufacturing for the Volt in Michigan, this brings the total to over $1 billion.

Much of the funding for the 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. Official press release after the jump.

[Source: LG Chem]


PRESS RELEASE

LG CHEM CONFIRMS NEW $300 MILLION LITHIUM-ION BATTERY CELL PLANT WILL BE BUILT IN HOLLAND, MICH.


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.

HOLLAND LITHIUM-ION PLANT

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.