South Korean lithium-ion battery firm LG Chem has broken ground for its second electric vehicle battery factory in China.
LG Chem said the facility, first mooted earlier this year, would be built in stages up to 2030 in the Nanjing economic development zone, in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, at a total cost of KRW 2.1 trillion (US$1.8 billion).
The company said the new three-storey plant, “24 times the size of a soccer field”, will have an eventual production capacity of more than 500,000 batteries for high-performance EVs.
LG Chem said the new plant is 180 kilometres from a joint venture precursor materials business launched in the city of Wuxi with Huayou New Energy Technology— a subsidiary of Chinese mining company Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt.
According to LG Chem, the joint venture will be producing 40,000 tons of cathode material annually from 2020.
In 2015, LG Chem opened its first battery plant in the region in a separate economic development zone.
LG Chem’s expansion in China follows a thaw in economic tensions between the countries after a heated trade spat involving claims and counter claims over China’s alleged “blocking” of South Korean batteries for EVs made in that country.