LG Chem will expand battery production in Poland

LG Chem EV battery global production

 

LG Chem wants to have its own version of a “Gigafactory” in Europe.

 

When LG Chem first announced the construction of a battery plant in Poland, the company made it clear that it would be its most important factory.

 

In October last year, at the groundbreaking ceremony, Lee Ung-beom, LG Chem’s energy solution chief said the following:

“We will turn the Poland EV battery plant into a mecca of battery production for electric vehicles around the world”.

Then he added:

“As LG Chem’s Poland EV battery plant is the first large-scale automotive lithium battery production plant in Europe, it will play the role of vitalizing the electric vehicle industry across the whole Europe”.

 

Nevertheless, the initial planned annual output capacity was “only” of 100.000 EV battery packs, clearly not enough in the long run. For this reason, LG Chem reconsidered the total investment it will make to expand the battery production capacity.

By June 2020, LG Chem will invest around 327 million euros in its battery cell plant in Poland, 27 million euros more than what was initially planned. Furthermore, according to the Polish daily newspaper Puls Biznesu, the next step is to invest even more, at least 800 million euros.

 

A company like LG Chem doesn’t announce this kind of investments without profitable supply contracts already signed. Again, according to Puls Biznesu, the numbers are impressive:

“LG Chem has revealed it has orders for 36 trillion won of batteries for 82 projects made by 28 global automakers.”

 

Those contracts that worth 27.000 million euros represent a lot of battery cells to be supplied by four LG Chem plants. If we consider 120 € per kWh, that amount is enough to buy 192,86 GWh of battery cells. Anyways, most of these orders should be only for electric cars to be made between 2020 and 2030 – that will get big battery capacity packs, the Jaguar i-Pace for example will have 90 kWh.

 

Now let’s go back to the Polish battery cell plant…

 

Without a doubt, currently, LG Chem’s most valuable customer is Renault, which builds its electric cars in Europe.

Let’s see some reasons why LG Chem considers its European plant the most important.

Right now, LG Chem not only needs to supply the ZE 33 battery for the Renault electric ZE vans (Kangoo and Master), but also the ZE 40 battery for Europe’s best selling electric car, the Zoe. Furthermore, Renault needs more ZE 40 batteries to allow the battery upgrade for old Zoes, which is already happening but at a very slow pace.

 

Renault battery upgrade prices

 

Then we have the Nissan Leaf, which is very popular in Europe and sooner or later will have LG Chem batteries.

By 2019, we’ll also have PSA selling electric cars powered by LG Chem battery cells.

At a smaller scale we can add Smart to the list, since it’s already selling their electric cars with tiny 17,6 kWh LG Chem batteries…

 

Anyways, the imminent introduction of the much improved 2018 Nissan Leaf at around 30.000 €, will definitely pressure Renault to adjust the Zoe’s price to at least 25.000 € with battery included. With a smaller price tag the Zoe’s demand and consequent production will definitely increase. Furthermore, the probable introduction of the Renault Twingo ZE will further increase the need for LG Chem batteries.

LG Chem expects its battery cell plant in Poland to start production in December this year, we’re just 3 months away.

 

 

More info:

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/search1/2603000000.html?cid=AEN20170829013200320

http://evertiq.com/news/42458

http://evertiq.com/news/40259

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20161006000618

https://www.pb.pl/koreanczycy-wydadza-miliardy-nad-wisla-869938

http://www.cire.pl/item,150440,1,0,0,0,0,0,lg-zwiekszy-inwestycje-w-polska-fabryke-baterii-do-ev.html

https://www.pb.pl/lg-chem-zainwestuje-137-mld-zl-w-polsce-869887

http://www.lgchem.com/global/lg-chem-company/information-center/press-release/news-detail-783

Pedro Lima

More than natural resources, are wasted human resources that bothers me the most. That’s why I’m a strong advocate of a society based on cooperation, not competition, that helps every individual to reach his full potential so that he can contribute back to society. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.

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16 Responses

  1. Sean says:

    Do you have a link for this?

  2. Mg says:

    O was under impression that those declared amount was not aditional investments, but rather estimation of ongoing project for polish authorities. Perhaps in order to get some goverment money. I might be wrong.

  3. mg says:

    New info in Your mail. Apparently You might be right after all.

  4. premium salmon says:

    The 2016 announcement said:
    „LG Chem will invest approximately 400 billion KRW”, which is cca. 356 million USD, or 300 million EUR.
    http://www.lgchem.com/global/lg-chem-company/information-center/press-release/news-detail-783

    The Polish factory will start production still this year, but we do not know the annual output, unless you calculate with battery units for 100 000 e-cars.

    OK: but what makes, what models, what KWh demand?

  5. premium salmon says:

    I also think, LG Chem wants to be the Mecca i.e. the biggest most importand EV battery producer in the world. It will not be easy against Tesla-Panasonic and the Chinese companies, such as BYD.

    Especially if they are not brave enough: the Polish factory is far from a Gigafactory: in 2018-2019 100 000 e-cars per year may need (with 70 kWh/car) 7 GWh annual output. Ready to install packs I mean, while Tesla GF1 alone will produce 50 GWh of packs – as you point out.

    Can you please extend LG Chem battery (cell and pack) appliers at least in Europe?
    Beyond Renault and later PSA? Hyundai? Kia? Others?
    Do you know, if Daimler Accumotion will assemble LG Chem cells?
    Will the Opel Ampera-e take off in 2018 and will it be produced in Europe?
    If so, with LG Chem batteries made in Poland?

    Shall we discuss European e-bus batteries once? 🙂

    Thank you Pedro, a great forum!

    • Pedro Lima says:

      I think that the biggest customer will be Nissan. New generation Micra, Juke and QASHQAI were designed to support electric power-trains.

      As far as I know Daimler Accumotive will use SK innovation battery cells.

      Regarding the Opel Ampera-e my expectations are pretty low. PSA already has its more affordable electric car project with 50 kWh batteries. Outsourced projects are far more expensive, since they’ll have to support not only the profits of GM, but also of LG Chem. I think that PSA electric cars will be a big hit in Europe.

      I’m still curious to see how will all the electric talk by Volvo materialize…

      There is already a Portuguese bus manufacturer that builds electric buses that operate worldwide, yet I don’t know what kind of batteries they use.

      http://caetanobus.pt/en/innovation-and-technology/electric-mobility/

  6. ouhou says:

    Such a pity that they choose Poland. Poland has one of the worst electricity grid in Europe with around 700grCo2/kwh produced.

    Wrought Aluminium represent 20% of the battery materials, and it is highly electricity consumptive .

    Anode active material which is responsible of around 40% of the GHG emission in the production of the battery consumes energy(electricity) too.

    In fact studies showed that the emission during the process for the production of the cells accounts for 40% of the emission indirectly generated by the production of the battery…

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