LG Chem Inks Battery Material Supply Deal with GM

09.02.2024 - South Korean chemicals group LG Chem has secured a long-term cathode material supply contract with General Motors (GM), worth KRW 25 trillion (about $19 billion). LG Chem intends to use its US cathode plant in Tennessee as a production center for the global battery materials market.

Under the long-term supply agreement, which is set to run from 2026 to 2035, LG Chem will supply GM with more than 500,000 t of cathode material, reportedly enough to power 5 million pure electric vehicles with a range of 500 km on a single charge.

“This contract builds on GM’s commitment to create a strong, sustainable battery EV supply chain to support our fast-growing EV production needs,” said Jeff Morrison, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “Importantly, this work with LG Chem will happen in Tennessee and strengthens the North American supply chain at a critical time for the industry,” Morrison added.

Shin Hak-cheol, LG Chem’s CEO, commented: “By strengthening our strategic cooperation with GM, we will jointly lead the North American EV market to a sustainable future. We aim to create unique customer value through world-class productivity and the expansion of our global production bases.”

LG Chem plans to supply GM with cathode materials from North America from 2026, in line with the planned production start of its cathode material plant in Tennessee. The NCMA (nickel, cobalt, manganese, aluminum) cathode materials produced in Tennessee plant are expected to be primarily used by Ultium Cells, a joint venture between LG Energy Solution and GM. However, cathode materials may also be used by GM in other EV projects.

In December 2023, LG Chem began construction of what is said to be America's largest cathode factory in Tennessee with an annual production capacity of 60,000 t.