The Korea Herald


LG Energy Solution to set up W600b advanced production line at Ochang plant

By Byun Hye-jin

Published : April 25, 2023 - 15:27

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LG Energy Solution’s Ochang plant in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province (LG Energy Solution) LG Energy Solution’s Ochang plant in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province (LG Energy Solution)

LG Energy Solution said Tuesday it will set up an advanced production line at its Ochang plant in a bid to supply more certified battery prototypes to global electric carmakers.

Under a 600 billion won ($450.7 million) investment, the battery maker plans to build what it calls a “mother" production line, where a battery cell prototype can be mass-produced, in its Ochang plant located in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province.

The existing pilot line manufactures such prototypes but does not do verification tests before commercial production.

Set to finish construction by late 2024, this mother production line will make prototypes of LG’s pouch-shaped long-cell lithium-ion batteries, which are receiving large-scale orders from carmakers, followed by conducting the verification test process. The company plans to expand the production line to its overseas plants as well.

LG Energy Solution’s revamped push in facility investments comes with the global EV market boom centered around automakers in North America.

“Stepping up as the leader of mass production to supply high-quality battery products at the right time is becoming more important. With the mother line, we plan to gain a competitive edge (over our rivals),” said an LG Energy Solution official.

LG Energy Solution CEO Kwon Young-soo said last month in an in-house notice that the company will invest in upgrading the Ochang complex to a “mother factory” as the center of next-generation battery development and a production base.

Apart from the facility investment for pouch-cell batteries, it has been building a mother production line at its Ochang plant for its new cylindrical batteries at 46 millimeters in width and 80 millimeters in length based on investments of 580 billion won since last year.

These investments are part of the company’s deal with the Chungcheong provincial government and Cheongju City to inject 4 trillion won into research and development to build battery mother lines and testing laboratories at the Ochang complex by 2026.

LG Energy Solution is also constructing a factory monitoring control center within the plant powered by an artificial intelligence-based deep learning system that stores video data of how the company’s global production lines in North America, Europe and Asia operate.

The Ochang plant is also adopting a smart factory system that enables remote support, intellectualization of the manufacturing process and logistics automation, while nurturing talent through the LG Institute of Battery Tech, the world’s first education center for batteries.