LG Energy Solution, a global manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, mobility, IT and energy storage systems, announced a four-fold expansion of its planned investment in a manufacturing complex to be built in the portion of the Town of Queen Creek that lies in Pinal County, to a total of $5.5 billion.
It is expected to create “thousands” of new jobs for the area, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority.
This will be the largest single investment for a stand-alone battery manufacturing site in North America.
LG plans to invest $3.2 billion to build a cylindrical battery manufacturing facility for electric vehicles with a capacity of 27 GWh. It’s also planning a $2.3 billion LFP pouch-type battery facility for energy storage systems with a capacity of 16 GWh. Both are expected to break ground this year.
News of the expansion came in March, a year after the Korean corporation initially announced it would be putting $1.39 billion into the factory.
“Our decision to invest in Arizona demonstrates our strategic initiative to continue expanding our global production network, which is already the largest in the world, to further advance our innovative and top-quality products in scale and with speed,” said Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution. “We believe it’s the right move at the right time in order to empower clean energy transition in the U.S.”
LG plans to have the cylindrical battery factory start mass production of 2,170 cells in 2025, primarily for electric vehicle makers in North America.
Gov. Katie Hobbs said, “With this historic investment from LGES, Arizona has become the battery manufacturing capital of the country. These Arizona-made batteries will power green, sustainable technologies around the world, cementing Arizona’s reputation as an innovation hub for renewable energy.
“We’re grateful to LGES for their legacy investment and for committing to making thousands of good-paying jobs for Arizonans.”
The company’s new manufacturing facilities will use a state-of-the-art smart factory system that carries out all decision-making on machine-produced data, which is intended to increase yield, improve manufacturing processes, and boost productivity to respond to increasing demand.
Recent months have brought a flurry of battery-related manufacturing announcements throughout Arizona, including Casa Grande. Leading battery recycler Ecobat announced in February it will open a facility at 1474 N. VIP Blvd. to repurpose lithium-ion batteries reaching end-of-life through diagnostics, sorting, shredding and material separation to produce a concentrated black mass containing the valuable materials in the batteries.
It’s expected to open in the third quarter of 2023 and eventually have 60 employees.
Meanwhile, a Cirba Solutions lithium-ion recycling plant is under construction in Eloy and is expected to create 110 permanent jobs.