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LG, Honda complete steel framework for JV battery plant

March 1, 2024 - 16:11 By Moon Joon-hyun
Kim Dong-myung (center), CEO of LG Energy Solution, joined by the joint venture CEO with Honda Lee Hyuk-jae (third from left), and Toshihiro Mibe (fifth from left), CEO of Honda Motor Company, participate in a soil-shoveling event at the steel framework completion ceremony in Fayette County, Ohio, Thursday. (LG Energy Solution)

LG Energy Solution, the nation's largest electric vehicle battery maker, said Friday that its Ohio-based joint venture plant with Honda has recently completed its steel framework, indicating a smooth ride ahead for the plant’s full operation slated for 2025.

The companies held a ceremony in Ohio's Fayette County on Thursday to celebrate the completion of the steel framework for the facility, which means that the construction has moved from site preparation and laying the foundations to the vertical construction of the building. Key executives, including LG Energy Solution CEO Kim Dong-myung and Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe, attended the ceremony.

The construction of the steel framework utilized over 60,000 pieces of steel, 2 million metric tons of stone, and 147 million liters of concrete. With the structural framework in place, the construction will now focus on the interior build-out, including electrical and plumbing installations and the setup of production lines.

The collaboration between the Korean battery giant and the Japanese automaker is the first strategic partnership of its kind, aiming to expand EV production capabilities in North America. The 40-gigawatt-hours-plant, initiated in January last year with a $4.4 billion investment, will be able to produce batteries for approximately 650,000 EVs annually and generate about 2,200 jobs once completed.

The venture has already begun recruiting, with its website listing various engineering positions. Job postings for technician and production roles are expected soon.

LG Energy Solution is expanding its presence in North America with eight facilities under operation or construction, including two standalone plants and six joint ventures with automotive manufacturers like GM, Honda, Hyundai and Stellantis.

The company’s strategy extends to the competitive Japanese market, securing orders from major automakers like Nissan, Honda, and Isuzu, despite Japan's dominance in lithium-ion battery technology and a well-developed materials and component value chain.