SEOUL, July 8 (Korea Bizwire) — LG Group said Thursday its battery making and chemical units will invest a combined 15.1 trillion won (US$13.1 billion) in South Korea by 2030 to develop next-generation battery technology and expand the domestic supply chain to solidify its battery leadership.
LG Chem Ltd. and its wholly owned battery subsidiary LG Energy will expand R&D spending and local manufacturing capacity for batteries and related materials, which is expected to create 8,000 new jobs in related fields, the nation’s fourth-largest conglomerate said.
Under the plan, LG Energy will invest 12.4 trillion won in developing the next-generation battery technology and expand local production capacity to meet growing demand for electric vehicle batteries.
LG Chem plans to pour 2.7 trillion won into developing advanced battery materials and step up domestic manufacturing capacity for stable supply of battery materials.
LG revealed the large-scale investment plan in tune with the government’s announcement of K-battery bluemap aimed at bolstering the nation’s rechargeable battery business by expanding R&D spending and tax incentives.
LG Energy, the world’s No. 2 battery supplier, said it has so far secured 180 trillion won worth of EV battery orders from global automakers and will further strengthen its battery leadership with additional investment.
The firm is a major supplier of batteries for nearly all major global carmakers, including Tesla, General Motors, Ford, Renault, Volvo and Volkswagen, as well as South Korea’s two largest automakers — Hyundai Motor and Kia Corp.
LG Energy said it will upgrade its manufacturing process at its Ochang plant, 120 kilometers south of Seoul, to make it flagship “smart factory” by 2023 and apply the knowhow in other factories.
“We will secure intellectual properties by closely integrating the battery R&D and advancing the manufacturing capacity to apply them in overseas factories,” LG Energy CEO Kim Jong-hyun said during a groundbreaking event for a battery research and testing center at Ochang factory.
LG Energy said it will also train battery professionals and expand collaboration with local material suppliers to establish a sustainable battery industry ecosystem.