LG Chem Ltd. made it official Friday, announcing that the company will build its new $303 million lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Holland.
LG Chem estimates that over 400 jobs could be created by 2013 and many of the people will be hired and trained in advance of the plant being operational.
“LG Chem’s selection of Holland to house the company’s battery cell facility was a balanced decision based on the city’s excellent infrastructure and proven, quality workforce,” said Jae Ham, senior vice president, LG Chem.
Scheduled for groundbreaking this summer, the 650,000 square-foot plant will be financed in part from a $151.4 million grant the company received from the United States Department of Energy as part of the federal stimulus program’s Electric Drive Vehicle Battery and Component Manufacturing Initiative.
LG Chem will also make a $151.5 million investment in the plant.
“LG Chem was impressed with Holland’s outstanding determination and sincere effort and commitment to be at the forefront of the new green energy economy which will result in Michigan becoming the leader in the electric vehicle industry,” Ham added.
LG Chem said it expects the plant to be fully operational in 2012. Initially, the plant will make cells for the highly-anticipated General Motors Chevrolet Volt.
The plant will be operated by LG Chem’s North American subsidiary, Compact Power Inc., and will be located on a 120-acre site located northeast of the intersection of South Waverly Road and East 48th Street. At its peak, the plant will produce enough cells for 50,000 to 200,000 vehicle battery packs.
“Thanks to a bold vision and aggressive strategy, Michigan is now the leader of the U.S. advanced-battery industry,” Governor Jennifer M. Granholm said. “We thank LG Chem for its commitment to our state, and we are proud to partner with the company, the city of Holland and the Obama Administration to grow a new industry and new jobs here.”
The governor said an incentive package from the state — which included a $100 million advanced battery cell tax credit, a 15-year job-creation tax credit worth $25.2 million, a Renaissance Zone designation and job-training assistance — helped Michigan seal the deal and win the new battery cell facility over competing national and international sites.
“It’s very exciting that LG Chem has chosen Holland as the site of this critically important project, and we look forward to welcoming our new neighbor to the community,” said Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra. “There are defining moments in any community’s history. I believe that, years from now, today’s announcement will be viewed as one of those moments for Holland, Michigan.”
LG Chem’s confirmation of the Holland location comes more than a year after Lakeshore Advantage officials first learned of the opportunity and began developing a community effort to win the project.
“With this announcement Holland becomes the center of lithium-ion manufacturing in North America,” said Randy Thelen, president of Lakeshore Advantage.
LG Chem Ltd., with 2009 revenue of $13.6 billion, is Korea’s largest chemical and rechargeable battery maker. The company’s chemical business is vertically integrated and manufactures a wide range of products, from petrochemical goods to high-value added plastics. It also extends its chemical expertise into high-tech areas such as rechargeable batteries and the display materials field, and is now a leading player in the advanced battery industry for electric vehicle, plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and hybrid electric vehicle applications.
More at www.lgchem.com.
Compact Power Inc. is a North American subsidiary of LG Chem. The company was formed in 2000 and is headquartered in Troy. CPI’s mission is to become the supplier of choice for lithium-ion battery technology.
More at www.compactpower.com.
Lakeshore Advantage, founded in 2003 by area businesses and community leaders, delivers business growth and attraction economic development services, supports a new wave of entrepreneurialism and drives an innovation agenda to help move the Holland, Zeeland and Saugatuck area forward.
Source: WWJ Newsradio 950