LG Chem to Build $300 Million Battery Plant in Michigan

While it’s long been known that LG Chem — and it’s Michigan-based subsidiary, Compact Power Inc. — were chosen to build the cells for the Chevy Volt’s lithium-ion battery packs, up till now most of the research, refinement and production of those cells has been done in Korea.

LG Chem has been hinting for over a year that all of that battery cell production will eventually shift to the US. Today the company revealed that they’ve chosen to invest $300 million in a Holland, Michigan battery plant capable of suppling cells for more than 50,000 plug-in cars per year. The plant is expected to employ over 400 workers by 2013.

After using an already-obtained $151 million loan from the US government to build the plant, the rest of the funding will come from LG Chem’s own investment. The 650,000 square foot facility should begin construction this summer and will be operated by Compact Power.

LG Chem will use the new facility to supply battery packs and cells for both GM and Hyundai-Kia vehicles, including the Chevy Volt and the upcoming Hyundai Sonata hybrid.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm said she was proud to grow new jobs and a new industry in the state… as she should be; Michigan certainly sweetened the pot for LG Chem by providing beaucoup incentives including $125 million in tax credits and job training assistance.

In the end this is good news for Michigan’s unemployed, and no matter what way the Chevy Volt actually goes, the US will need a vast supply of car batteries in the future so those jobs should be relatively secure.

Turn the next page for the full press release.

Source: LG Chem/Compact Power

Nick Chambers

Not your traditional car guy.