LG Energy Solution said it would build a second ‘mother plant’ at its main Ochang manufacturing complex near Cheongju, South Korea.

It planned to spend KRW600bn (US$450m) on the new pilot plant, named Ochang Energy Plant 2, which would be dedicated to test production of pouch type long cell batteries.

The facility would develop manufacturing technology and process for future batteries and carry out trial production before mass production was transferred to various global factories.

The investment would also help strengthen the company’s R&D base to cover different types of EV batteries.

This is on top of the KRW580bn already being poured into a first mother plant, the Ochang Energy Plant, under construction since last June, dedicated to cylindrical batteries.

The second new plant was scheduled to be completed at the end of 2024.

The two facilities would help the company meet increasing demand from customers to speed up the availability of new products as EV competition intensifies.

LGES’ main battery manufacturing plant in Cheongju currently serves as the mother factory for testing new battery technology before volume production starts at plants across the globe.

Ochang will emerge as LGES’ main battery technology R&D and manufacturing technology hub with the company aiming to make cumulative investment of KRW4trn at the site by 2026.