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Update: Battery plant to go in next to Hyundai Metaplant America
Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution (LGES) announced an EV battery cell manufacturing joint venture in the U.S. today. From left to right : Jaehoon Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company and Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution

South Korean manufacturers Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solutions announced Friday a $4.3 billion joint venture to build an electric vehicle battery cell manufacturing plant on the Mega-Site in Black Creek adjacent to Hyundai Metaplant America.

Construction is slated to begin on the EV battery cell plant later in 2023 and production is set to start in 2025 at the earliest. It’s expected to create 3,000 jobs, according to the announcement.

In an early morning press conference announcing the partnership, U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff heralded the decision by the companies to locate the plant in Bryan County, calling it a result of manufacturing incentives included in the Inflation Reduction Act. He cited a recent trade mission to South Korea as well as negotiations between the companies and U.S. representatives as playing a key role in the joint venture.

The incentives are “continuing to attract billions of dollars of investment to the state and across the country,” and are building industrial capacity in the manufacturing of electric vehicles, electric vehicle batteries, and solar and wind technologies, Ossoff said, adding the company will be eligible for certain U.S. tax breaks once it begins making the cars in the U.S.

Hyundai is currently scheduled to begin manufacturing the vehicles in 2025.

Bryan County Commission Chairman Carter Infinger welcomed LG Energy Solution to the county.

“Today Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution announced they would be partnering together on the joint venture battery manufacturing facility that was announced by Hyundai Motor Group on May 20, 2022. We welcome LG Energy Solution to Bryan County and the Savannah region and look forward to working with them and their partners.”

The plant is expected to manufacture some 300,000 vehicles annually. The Hyundai Mobis facility under construction in Richmond Hill is currently scheduled to begin production of power plants for the EVs built in Black Creek at some point in 2024. The $926 million facility at the Belfast Keller Commerce Park near I-95 interchange will bring 1,500 jobs to the area.

Industries tied to the Hyundai Metaplant announcement have added thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in investment Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham and Effingham counties, which make up the Savannah Harbor Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority. Neighboring counties such as Liberty have also seen investment.

In recent months, the state has announced several Hyundai related projects. On May 23, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Hanon Systems will create 160 jobs and invest more than $40 million in a manufacturing plant in Bulloch County; On April 11, it was announced Seohan Auto Georgia, a parts manufacturer, will set up a $72 million, 180-job manufacturing facility in Liberty County; on March 6, the state announced Hyundai supplier PHA will build a $67 million and create 400 jobs in Chatham County; the state also announced on Feb. 21 that Sewon America will create 740 new jobs in Effingham County while investing $300 million in a manufacturing facility.

Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution (LGES) announced an EV battery cell manufacturing joint venture in the U.S. today.

Hyundai Motor Group and LGES signed a memorandum of understanding to produce EV batteries in the U.S. and further accelerate the Group’s electrification efforts in North America. The signing ceremony took place in LGES’s headquarters in Seoul on May 26 with the attendance of Jaehoon Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company and Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution.

The Group and LGES will each hold a 50 percent stake in the JV, which will involve an investment of over USD 4.3 billion (KRW 5.7 trillion).

“Hyundai Motor Group is focusing on its electrification efforts to secure a leadership position in the global auto industry. We will create a strong foundation to lead the global EV transition through establishing a new EV battery cell plant with LG Energy Solution, a leading global battery producer and long-time partner,” said Jaehoon Chang, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company.

“Two strong leaders in the auto and battery industries have joined hands, and together we are ready to drive the EV transition in America,” said Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution. “By further advancing our product competitiveness and global operational expertise, LG Energy Solution will commit our best efforts to offering the ultimate sustainable energy solutions to our customers.”

The annual production capacity of the new joint venture is at 30 GWh, able to support the production of 300,000 units of EVs annually. The facility will be in Bryan County, Savannah, Georgia, adjacent to Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, currently under construction.

Starting construction in the second half of 2023, the joint venture plans to start battery production at the end of 2025 at the earliest.

Hyundai Mobis will assemble battery packs using cells from the plant, then supply them to the Group’s U.S. manufacturing facilities for production of Hyundai, Kia and Genesis EV models. The new facility will help create a stable supply of batteries in the region and allow the Group to respond fast to the soaring EV demand in the U.S. market.

With this JV, LGES now has seven battery plants currently operating or being constructed in the U.S., where the company is concentrating most of its resources to expand the production capacity. By ramping up its local production, LGES aims to provide innovative products both in scale and with speed, thereby expediting the clean energy transition in the U.S.

The Group and LGES have long been partners in the field of electrification having worked on the supplies of EV batteries for vehicles, including Elantra Hybrid, Kona Electric, and IONIQ 6 dedicated EV. The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid, LPi hybrid vehicle introduced in 2009, was the Group’s first electrified model. In 2021, both started construction of the Indonesia battery cell JV which is set to start production in the first half of 2024.

The Group and LGES aim to further strengthen the ties going forward with the EV battery cooperation.


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