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LG Chem

LG Chem begins billion-dollar plan to be world’s biggest battery materials firm

Thu, 08/12/2021 - 15:41 -- paul Crompton
LG CHem office building

LG Chem has bought the battery materials manufacturing arm of its subsidiary LG Electronics in a bid to become the “world’s largest general battery materials company”.

The Korean firm bought the operations of the Chemical Electronic Material (CEM) business sector under the LG Electronics’ Business Solution Division for 525 billion KRW ($456 million).

The purchase will bring the four key materials for batteries under LG Chem’s roof, in addition to its existing businesses in the anode materials, cathode binders, electrolyte additive, and CNT (carbon nanotube) sectors.

The announcement on 29 July includes all “tangible and intangible” assets such as production facilities and personnel in the business sector. 

The LG Electronics CEM Division manufactures battery materials such as separation membranes and display materials, and it has production facilities in Cheongju Korea, Hangzhou of China, and Wroclaw of Poland. 

Billion-dollar investment 

LG Chem plans to invest 6 trillion KRW ($5 billion), including this acquisition, to become the world’s top general battery materials company.

The firm plans to build a 60,000-ton capacity plant in Gumi, South Korea, this December for the cathode material business. 

Through this, the cathode production capacity of LG Chem will increase from 40,000 tons last year to 260,000 tons by 2026.

A joint venture is being prepared with an unnamed mining company for the supply of metals that will be used as the raw materials for anode materials. 

The company is also set to focus R&D on anode materials, separation membranes, cathode binders, and radiant adhesives to “differentiate its technologies and acquire market leadership”. 

It also plans to triple CNT production scale from 1,700 tons by 2025. 

In June 2020, LG Chem announced it would invest around KRW 65 billion ($53 million, at the time) to expand CNT manufacturing by 1,200 tons at its Yeosu plant from Q1 of this year.

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LGES signs 45mt off-take deal to secure lithium-ion battery supply from Vulcan

Thu, 08/05/2021 - 11:23 -- paul Crompton
lithium hydroxide

Battery maker LG Energy Solution, a subsidiary of LG Chem, has signed a lithium-ion battery materials off-take deal with Vulcan Energy.

The Australian firm will supply up to 45 metric tonnes of lithium hydroxide over the five-year term of the deal.

Pricing will be based on market prices for lithium hydroxide.

The five-year agreement could be extended by a further five years, with the start of commercial delivery set for 2025.

LG will purchase 5,000 metric tonnes of battery grade lithium hydroxide the first year, ramping up to 10,000 metric tonnes per year during the subsequent years of the deal.

Vulcan said conditions precedent to the start of commercial delivery include execution of a definitive formal offtake agreement on materially the same terms by the end of November 2021, successful start of commercial operation and full product qualification.

Vulcan managing director, Dr. Francis Wedin, said: “This is the first binding lithium off-take term sheet for the Zero Carbon Lithium™ Project, so it is fitting that it is with the largest EV battery producer in the world. LGES’s operations are of course global, but it is already producing batteries in Europe. 

“The agreement is in line with our strategy to work with Tier One battery and automotive companies in the European market.”

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LG Chem extends ESS recall after concerns with over-heating lithium-ion batteries

Tue, 06/08/2021 - 10:56 -- paul Crompton
LG Energy Solution— an LG Chem subsidiary— will extend its scheme to replace lithium-ion batteries used in its home energy storage systems (ESS) to include all geographical markets.

LG Energy Solution— an LG Chem subsidiary— will extend its scheme to replace lithium-ion batteries used in its home energy storage systems (ESS) to include all geographical markets.

ESSs manufactured between April 2017 and September 2018 are being recalled due to overheating concerns.

The latest scheme expands on similar programs in Australia and the US.

The Korean firm— launched last December by LG Chem— will replace batteries with others that “incorporate manufacturing process improvements that further enhance the safety of its ESS batteries” for free.

All proposed safety measures, including the replacement of the potentially affected ESS batteries, will take place after consultation with customers.

LG Energy Solution will implement remote modifications to the affected batteries, where possible, to reduce the potential for overheating while owners of the affected ESS units wait for their replacement units.

In addition, the firm will update its battery diagnostic and control software. 

Earlier this year, the Korean battery giant made a safety recall over concerns its Resu-branded residential ESSs installed in Australia could overheat and catch on fire.

These concerns came just months after a similar recall in the US, with the company working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) following reports of five fires with its battery systems.

The latest recall in the UK involves LG Chem’s RESU 10H lithium-ion storage battery that have been installed as part of a residential energy solar panel system.

The serial number of the recalled product begins with R15563P3SSEG and is located behind the access door of the RESU 10H (Type-R) home battery.

A newswire statement from LG Chem read: “LG Energy Solution conducted a review of its manufacturing and quality assurance processes in relation to reported incidents that occurred due to the overheating of the batteries subject to this program. 

“Based on its review, LG Energy Solution has determined that there were certain issues in the early production processes for electrodes used in these potentially affected ESS batteries. “ 

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Automotive and battery giants launch search for the industry’s best start-ups

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 10:42 -- paul Crompton

Automotive OEMs Hyundai, Kia and lithium-ion battery giant LG Chem have sponsored a global competition to identify promising start-ups in the e-mobility industry. 

Start-ups developing technologies and business models for EVs and batteries can apply to the ‘EV & Battery Challenge’ until 28 August via a website set up especially for the competition. 

Up to 10 winning start-ups will have the opportunity to work with Hyundai, Kia, and LG Chem to develop proof-of-concept projects while leveraging the sponsors’ technical expertise, resources and laboratories. 

The seven categories are: 

  1. Next-generation battery materials to increase mileage and safety 
  2. Recycling of battery materials
  3. Control systems to increase battery efficiency
  4. Process technology to increase productivity and quality control
  5. EV drive units
  6. Personalisation services for electric cars
  7. BEV’s charging and energy management

Among the credentials the judges are looking for are: a validated concept and a working prototype; should clearly differentiate from existing solutions and provide plans for global scale; include a business model based on credible commercial and economic assumptions.

Submitted documents will be examined in a first round with the most promising candidates interviewed personally via video conference in October.

The final selection committee is to meet in November at a workshop at the Hyundai Motor Group’s ‘Open Innovation Hub’ in Silicon Valley, California, US. 

After that, Hyundai, Kia and LG Chem will verify the technologies and review them to see if direct financial investment is possible.

New Energy Nexus, the international start-up support organisation, will manage and facilitate the competition.

Interested parties can view more details HERE

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LG Chem halts plans for India lithium-ion battery factory

Wed, 05/27/2020 - 11:03 -- paul Crompton

Korean battery giant LG Chem has halted its lithium-ion battery project in India as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to hit the automotive market, according to reports.

The company was in talks with Renault, Mahindra & Mahindra and Hyundai for an Indian consortium for the project and regarding equity participation for the same, reported the country’s newspaper The Economic Times

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LG Chem extends Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) plant by 1,200 tons to meet growing demand from EV market

Wed, 05/06/2020 - 12:11 -- paul Crompton

Korean battery materials firm LG Chem has announced it will invest around KRW 65 billion ($53 million) to expand carbon nanotube (CNT) manufacturing by 1,200 tons at its Yeosu plant.

The company is aiming to expand production by Q1 of next year as it targets the industry sector, which is expected to more than triple to reach 13,000 tons by 2024 mainly via the global EV market.

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GM electric vehicle strategy centres on proprietary lithium-ion battery developed with LG Chem

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 14:00 -- paul Crompton

General Motors strategy to grow the company’s electric vehicle (EV) market share centres around its in-house pouch cell designed lithium-ion drive train.

The Ultium battery uses large-format, pouch-style cells that can be stacked vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack to optimise energy storage capacity and allow bespoke layout for vehicle design.

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LG Chem lithium-ion battery supply shortage causes halt to electric vehicle manufacturing

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 14:40 -- paul Crompton

A shortage of lithium-ion batteries from LG Chem’s European gigafactory forced luxury vehicle OEM Jaguar to halt production of its I-Pace electric car.

Jaguar was unable to secure enough batteries from the Korean firm’s Poland factory to continue production of its £61,000 SUV at a factory in Graz, Austria, for a week from 10 February.

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Tesla side-steps long-term lithium-ion cell supplier to partner with LG Chem and CATL for its Gigafactory 3

Fri, 01/31/2020 - 10:32 -- paul Crompton

Vehicle and energy storage firm Tesla has entered into a partnership with South Korea’s LG Chem and China’s CATL as it looks to secure a lithium-ion battery supply for its electric cars at its Gigafactory 3 plant in Shanghai.

Rumours that Tesla would move from its exclusive cell supplier Panasonic to meet demand at the China Gigafactory 3 first surfaced last August.

*UPDATE* CATL confirmed in a stock exchange filing on Monday, 3 February, it had signed a two-year battery supply agreement with Tesla, with the US firm determining the battery purchase volume. The deal starts this July and closes June 2022.

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LG Chem secures $5bn loan to build lithium-ion manufacturing plants as it announces US gigafactory plans with GM

Wed, 12/11/2019 - 14:14 -- paul Crompton

Korean battery maker LG Chem has secured around $5 billion in loans to build lithium-ion manufacturing plants outside of the country between 2020 and 2024.

The money has been earmarked by a group of financial institutions led by the state-run lender Korea Development Bank (KDB), and which includes the Export-Import Bank of Korea and Nonghyup Bank.

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