LG Chem and General Motors Reach Agreement for Long-Term Supply of Cathode Active Materials
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LG Chem and General Motors Reach Agreement for Long-Term Supply of Cathode Active Materials
Plans to provide GM more than 950,000 tons of CAM over eight years, enough for approximately 5 million EV units

27(Sat), Aug, 2022

LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol shakes hands with GM Chairman & CEO Mary Barra after they signed a deal to eatblish Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture, In December 2019. (Photo: LG Chem)

LG Chem and General Motors Co. announced a binding agreement for the supply of Cathode Active Materials (CAM) from LG Chem to GM on July 26. 

The supply agreement will help GM meet its fast-growing EV production needs. CAM is a key battery material consisting of components like processed nickel, lithium and other materials, representing about 40% of the cost of a battery cell.

Through the long-term supply arrangement, LG Chem plans to supply more than 950,000 tons of CAM to GM beginning the second half of 2022 through 2030, enough for approximately 5 million units of EV production. 

The CAM secured by GM will be used by Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution, at its battery cell plants in Warren, Ohio; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Lansing, Michigan.

GM and LG Chem will also explore the localization of a CAM production facility in North America by the end of 2025.

“This agreement builds on GM’s commitment to create a strong, sustainable battery raw material supply chain to support our fast-growing EV production needs,” said Jeff Morrison, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. 

“LG Chem has demonstrated technical expertise, high-quality and mass production capabilities of cathode active materials over the last decade. At the same time, this agreement demonstrates GM’s commitment to strong supplier relationships, and compliments our many other recent EV supply chain announcements.”

“Importantly, GM now has contractual commitments secured with strategic partners for all battery raw material to support our goal of 1 million units of EV capacity by the end of 2025,” added Morrison.

The cathode materials that LG Chem plans to supply are NCMA (nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum) cathode materials for EVs built on GM’s Ultium Platform. 

NCMA cathode material is a product that combines LG Chem's best material technology and is characterized by its excellent stability and output. 

Aluminum was applied to the material technology to strengthen stability while de-creasing the amount of cobalt used in GM’s previous generation of batteries by 70%.

Shin Hak-cheol, CEO of LG Chem, said that “Based upon a close collaboration with customers, LG Chem will further strengthen its position as a global leader in the market by producing the world’s best cathode materials.”

LG Chem CEO Shin Discusses Battery Materials Supply Chain with U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellen

LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol met with U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen to discuss cooperation plans to reinforce the battery materials supply chain.

LG Chem announced on July 19 that the first schedule during Minister Yellen’s visit to Korea was a trip to the LG Chem Magok R&D Campus in Gangseo-gu, Seoul. Minister Yellen, who is touring the India and Pacific regions, visited LG Chem as her only visit to a Korean business. 

LG Chem’s future battery materials research facilities such as for next-generation cathodes and separators are gathered at LG Science Park Magok R&D Campus.

At the visit, which lasted for over an hour, LG Chem CEO Shin and Minister Yellen looked around the hall containing LG Chem’s battery materials technologies and sustainable strategies, while discussing cooperation plans to construct a materials supply chain.

Minister Yellen commented, “This was a valuable opportunity for seeing first-hand how LG Chem is making innovations in the battery materials sector,” and asked for continuous cooperation in the private sector by stating, “Thanks to the efforts of companies in Korea and the U.S. like you, our two countries have grown into strong economic partners.”

LG Chem is focusing on fostering the battery materials sector in which demand is growing rapidly together with the growth of the EV market. 

For this, the company is strengthening the business portfolio including cathodes and separators, CNT (carbon nano tube), thermal adhesives, anode binders, BAS (batter assembly solution), etc. and is looking to make a bold investment of 6 trillion won by 2025 with the goal of becoming the ‘world’s greatest comprehensive battery materials company.’ 

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