SPEED & SCALE KEY TO LG CHEM SPIN-OFF OF EV BATTERY UNIT; 262 GWH PLANNED FOR 2029

It is reported in South Korea that lithium ion battery and chemicals producer, LG Chem, is considering a spin-off of its battery unit as it reshapes its business for the electric vehicle (EV) growth.

The battery cell producer this year started to see profit growth owing to increased overall demand and its increased quality and sales at its Poland battery megafactory.

In the period from April to June 2020, LG Chem posted profits of $352m up from $70m for the same period in 2019.

LG Chem were one of the first movers in both aggressively scaling capacity and planning multiple battery megafactories or gigafactory(ies) across the world.

The company has relied on speed, scale and geographical diversity in its global assault on dominating the EV market.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence August 2020 data shows a total of 262GWh of cell capacity by 2029 from its seven battery plants.

The largest of the battery megafactories is anticipated to be Nanjing 1 – its original battery cell facility in China. Benchmark expects this capacity to reach 85GWh in this 10 year period.

Meanwhile, we expect LG Chem’s battery cell plant in  Wrocław, Poland to be its second biggest with a 67GWh capacity by 2029.

LG Chem is also expanding its global capacity footprint via a second megafactory in Nanjing, China, its plant in Holland, Michigan, USA and and joint venture in China with automaker Geely.

Its newest battery megafactory of note is the joint-venture with General Motors in Lordstown, Michigan, USA. Benchmark anticipates this to be at a capacity of 30GWh by 2029 producing GM’s Ultium battery cell range.

GM said at in March: “Ultium energy options range from 50 to 200 kWh, which could enable a GM-estimated range up to 400 miles or more on a full charge with 0 to 60 mph acceleration as low as 3 seconds. Motors designed in-house will support front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive applications.”

At an expected average pack size of 75kWh, the Lordstown battery megafactory is expected to produce enough lithium ion batteries for 400,000 electric vehicles.

This adds to its original facility in Ochang, South Korea which is still operational.

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