LG Chem said it had signed a KRW25trn (US$19bn) deal to supply cathode materials to General Motors (GM) for 10 years starting in 2026.

LG Chem said it had agreed to supply 500,000 tons of cathode materials between 2026 and 2035 to Ultium Cells, GM’s battery manufacturing joint venture with LG Chem affiliate LG Energy Solution which, it said, was enough to power 5m high performance battery electric vehicles (BEVs) with a range of 500km (300 miles).

The chemicals company said it would supply the cathode materials from a 60,000 ton/year plant currently under construction in Clarksville, Tennessee. The facility is expected to be the largest of its kind in North America when it becomes operational in 2025. It is being built primarily to produce NCMA (nickel, cobalt, manganese, aluminium) cathode materials for GM using raw minerals sourced mainly from North America to meet the tax credit requirements under the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

LG Chem said this new agreement “strengthens the cooperation between the two companies” following the long term collaboration deal agreed by the two companies in 2022.

Jeff Morrison, head of global purchasing and supply chain, said in a statement: “This contract builds on GM’s commitment to create a strong, sustainable battery supply chain to support our fast growing EV production needs. Importantly, this work with LG Chem will happen in Tennessee and strengthens the North American supply chain at a critical time for the industry.”

LG Chem said it expected to double the annual output capacity of its Clarksville plant to 120,000 tons depending on market. The company recently signed a major deal to supply cathode materials to Toyota’s US operations.

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By GlobalData

LG Chem’s cathode materials plant under construction in Tennessee