Growth continues in and around the Nashville area with LG Chem pledging this week to invest $3.2 billion and create 850 new jobs — the single-largest foreign direct investment in Tennessee history.
The plant, located in Clarksville, will be the largest cathode manufacturing facility in the U.S and will support the electric vehicle battery value-chain, according to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
Montgomery County Mayor Wes Golden called the investment a game-changer for the county, part of its bright future.
SOUTH KOREAN INVESTMENT:South Korean company makes major investment
NEW HOME BUILDS:Burrus Ridge plan for 653 home lots approved in White House
“Bringing LG Chem has been an intentional effort on the part of the state and local economic development councils to bring high quality employment to Montgomery County,” Golden said. “An investment like this is a game-changer we do not take for granted.”
When will construction begin?
Construction of the plant will begin during the first quarter of 2023 at the Allensworth site, a 420-acre location in Clarksville. Production is set to begin in the second half of 2025.
Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts applauded the latest jobs announcement in Middle Tennessee.
“This announcement is more good news for our community,” Pitts said, “and further proves Clarksville-Montgomery County is on the right track in our economic development efforts.”
How many vehicles will the LG Chem plant power?
The plant will produce 120,000 tons of cathode material annually by 2027. That’s enough to power batteries in 1.2 million electric vehicles with a range of 310 miles per charge. The plant, according to officials, will feature smart technology, allowing it to automate all production.
Tennessee, and more specifically, Clarksville, will play a critical role in LG Chem’s strategy to increase its battery materials business for next-generation EV batteries with improved capacity and stability.
“LG Chem’s decision to invest $3.2 billion in Clarksville is a testament to Tennessee’s unmatched business climate, skilled workforce and position as a leader in the automotive industry,” Gov. Bill Lee said in a statement. “I thank this company for creating more than 850 new jobs to provide opportunity to Tennesseans across Montgomery County.”
Clarksville’s production plant will enjoy the ability to produce more than 10,000 tons of cathode material per line, a level of production officials said will make it the industry’s largest manufacturer.
How many electric vehicles does Tennessee help power?
The announcement occurs during a period of Tennessee’s unprecedented investment in electric vehicle manufacturing. Since 2017, companies have pledged to create more than 11,000 new jobs and invest $12.7 billion in the state through electric vehicle projects. More than 180,000 electric vehicles have been produced in Tennessee since 2013, ranking the state No. 1 in the southeastern U.S.
“LG Chem’s decision to locate its new cathode manufacturing facility in Clarksville underscores Tennessee’s growing profile as a hub for U.S. and global companies,” Stuart McWhorter, the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, said in a news release.
“As we continue our efforts to attract companies in the automotive industry, we are focused on supporting companies that boost Tennessee’s presence in the EV space.”
Who is LG Chem?
Founded in 1947, LG Chem employs nearly 19,00 people across 50 global business sites with more than $37 billion in sales as one of the largest chemical companies in the world.
South Korea is one of Tennessee’s top 10 countries for foreign direct investment, with approximately 20 Korean-based establishments having invested $2.3 billion and employees more than 3,500 people across the state.
“The new cathode manufacturing facility in Tennessee brings us one step closer to becoming the world’s best battery materials manufacturer and fulfilling our corporate vision to become a top global science company,” CEO of LG Chem, Hak-Cheol Shin, said in a statement.
“This site will be the North American manufacturing center of excellence for the cathode supply chain and lead to the creation of many well-paying jobs contributing to the local economy in Clarksville.”
Is LG already in Clarksville?
LG operates a washer and dryer facility in Clarksville that employs around 1,000 people. In 2021, the company announced plans to invest 334 more employees as demand for washing machines increased as part of the LG Electronics division.
Reach reporter Craig Shoup by email at email@example.com and on Twitter @Craig_Shoup. To support his work, sign up for a digital subscription to www.tennessean.com.