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LG Energy Solution reviews $2b EV battery plant in Ontario

LG Energy Solution’ cylindrical electric vehicle batteries. (LG Energy Solution)
LG Energy Solution’ cylindrical electric vehicle batteries. (LG Energy Solution)


LG Energy Solution said Thursday it is mulling a new electric vehicle battery plant worth $2 billion in the Canadian province of Ontario.

According to South Korea’s leading battery firm, it is currently in talks with Ontario officials for the new battery factory.

The envisioned Ontario plant is part of LG Energy Solution’s plan to invest 5.6 trillion won ($4.76 billion) in North America by 2024 and secure an additional annual production capacity of 55 gigawatt-hours in the region.

Through the multibillion-dollar investment, LG Energy Solution aims to take advantage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that took effect last year. Under the pact, vehicles that have 75 percent North American parts can avoid tariffs from 2025, raising the need to locally produce auto parts, including batteries.

General Motors’ electric vehicle factory is located in Ontario, where the automaker’s BrightDrop EV600 is manufactured. Through its new Ontario battery factory, LG Energy Solution is expected to expand its partnership with GM beyond the US. Ultium Cells, a joint venture formed by LG Energy Solution and GM, are currently building two battery plants -- one in Tennessee and one in Ohio -- with a combined capacity of 80 gigawatt-hours.

LG Energy Solution aims to source the funds required for expansion by going public in January. The company seeks to raise up to 12.75 trillion won by offering 42.5 million shares at between 257,000 won and 300,000 apiece. The 42.5 million shares would account for 18.16 percent of the total 234 million shares.

The initial public offering would secure LG Energy Solution at least fourth place on Korea’s main bourse Kospi. The firm’s market cap is expected to reach between 60.1 trillion and 70.2 trillion won, which could potentially surpass Naver in the No. 3 spot on the Kospi with a market cap of 64.2 trillion won.

By Kim Byung-wook (kbw@heraldcorp.com)
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