LG Chem secures $18.8B cathode material supply deal with GM

LG Chem has secured a long-term cathode material supply contract with General Motors (GM), worth KRW 25 trillion (US$18.825 billion). LG Chem aims to bolster cooperation with GM in the North American market by utilizing its cathode plant in Tennessee as a production hub for the global battery material market.

Under the long-term supply contract to commence in 2026 and running through 2035, LG Chem will supply GM more than 500,000 tons of cathode materials—enough to power 5 million units of high-performance pure EVs with a range of 500km on a single charge.

Following a comprehensive agreement in July 2022 for a long-term supply of cathode materials, this supply contract strengthens the cooperation between the two companies and specifies a portion of the agreed volume.

LG Chem plans to supply North American-sourced cathode materials to GM starting from 2026, coinciding with the start of production of its cathode materials plant in Tennessee. The NCMA (nickel, cobalt, manganese, aluminum) cathode materials produced in Tennessee plant are expected to be primarily used by Ultium Cells, a joint venture between LG Energy Solution and GM.

As this supply agreement is a direct contract with GM, LG Chem’s cathode materials may also be used by GM in other EV projects. LG Chem intends to utilize its local supply chain to ensure that customers, including GM, can meet the EV subsidy criteria set by the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

On December 2023, LG Chem commenced the construction of the US’ largest cathode plant in Tennessee with an annual production capacity of 60,000 tons. LG Chem plans to use the Tennessee facility as a base for communication with customers, producing customized cathode materials optimized for North American EVs from the development stage.

LG Chem will also enhance the manufacturing competitiveness of the Tennessee plant by advancing its engineering technology of the calcination process, securing the world’s highest-level annual production capacity of 10,000 tons per line.

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