CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, along with Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter and LG Chem officials announced on Monday a plan to invest nearly $3.2 billion to establish a new cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville, supporting the electric vehicle battery value-chain in the country.
According to a release issued Monday by the Department of Economic and Community Development, LG Chem’s anticipated investment represents the single largest announced foreign direct investment in Tennessee’s history.
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The project is also expected to bring 860 jobs with it to Montgomery County.
“LG Chem’s decision to invest $3.2 billion in Clarksville is a testament to Tennessee’s unmatched business climate, skilled workforce and position as a leader in the automotive industry,” said Gov. Bill Lee in a quote released in the statement. “I thank this company for creating more than 850 new jobs to provide opportunity to Tennesseans across Montgomery County.”
The Clarksville facility, according to the release, will be the largest of its kind in the country and is expected to produce nearly 120,000 tons of cathode material annually by 2027—enough to power batteries in 1.2 million electric vehicles with a range of 310 miles per charge.
The facility is currently planned to be built on 420 acres of land at the Allensworth site in Clarksville. Construction is set to begin in Q1 2023, and the plant is scheduled to be in production by the second half of 2025.
Once the facility is up and running, it will produce cathode materials, which are one of the most critical ingredients for manufacturing batteries used by electric vehicles.
LG Chem’s most advanced production technology will also be housed in the facility, which gives the facility the ability to make over 10,000 tons of cathode material per line, the industry’s highest. Furthermore, LG Chem plans to implement its smart factory technology in Tennessee to automate the entire production process and establish a quality analysis and control system that will be “the benchmark for all other cathode plants in the world.”
“The new cathode manufacturing facility in Tennessee brings us one step closer to becoming the world’s best battery materials manufacturer and fulfilling our corporate vision to become a top global science company. This site will be the North American manufacturing center of excellence for the cathode supply chain and lead to the creation of many well-paying jobs, contributing to the local economy in Clarksville,” Hak-Cheol Shin, CEO of LG Chem said.
In addition, LG Chem will collaborate with power suppliers in Tennessee to respond to customer demands, including battery and electric vehicle manufacturers, for more renewable energy sources.
The new facility will operate completely on renewable energy provided by solar and hydroelectric power, according to the release.
LG Chem’s investment and job creation continue to contribute to Tennessee’s continued growth in electric vehicle manufacturing. Since 2017, companies have pledged to create over 11,000 new jobs and invested $12.7 billion in the state through EV-related projects.
According to the release, over 180,000 electric vehicles have been produced in the Volunteer State since 2013, which ranks Tennessee #1 in the Southeast for electric vehicle manufacturing.