On July 16, LG Chem held a groundbreaking ceremony of a new electronic vehicle battery factory of Compact Power Inc., a subsidiary of LG Chem, in Holland, Michigan.
LG Chem executives, local and state officials including Jennifer Granholm, the Governor of Michigan and Kurt Dykstra and the Mayor of Holland were present for the ceremony. Gladly and surprisingly, Barack Obama, President of the U.S. also attended. And as he entered, about 400 visitors gave a shout of joy. When he greeted Koo Bon-Moo,Chairman of LG Group in Korean, "Annyeong haseyo ('Hello' in Korean)."
His visit was for the foreign company's groundbreaking event and is exceptional and the visit is considered a part of administration efforts highlighting clean energy initiatives aimed at bringing US$ 1 million in support for hybrid vehicles for the next 5 years.
Sure enough, President Obama started the speech by saying "I'm very grateful for the presence of the chairman of LG , Bon-Moo Koo. Thank you very much for your presence here today, as well as the CEO and vice chairman, Peter Bahn-Suk Kim," and introduced his administration's goals and emphasized that the factory will take the lead in the US economy and high tech industry with its clean energy technology.
In addition, he expressed an expectation that the factory will allow American citizens to use American vehicles implanted with the electric car batteries, American made.The Holland plant has received a USD 151 million Department of Energy grant to help build the USD 303 million factory to produce lithium-ion battery cells for cars. Most of the actual investment amount was covered by the American Government's generous incentives, USD 280 million. The first commercial production of the factory will be in March 2012. And It plans to furnish battery production to a scale of 60,000 to supply electric cars by 2013 when the construction will be completed.
All the while, LG Chem has been working on electric vehicle batteries very hard. In 1999, LG Chem succeeded in creating small lithium-ion batteries, which was 15 years behind, compared to Japan. However, since LG Chem already acknowledged the great potential of the battery field, in 2000, they built the Compact Power Incorporate and conducted R&D in full production for pioneering the American market. After 2 and half years, the battery business of LG Chem started to yield results.
For example, in 2004, LG Chem received orders amounting to USD 4.6 million from among three main consortiums of U.S auto makers such as, USABC (US Advanced Battery Consortium) DOE (Department of Energy). As the only chemical-based battery company around the world, they have gained technical recognition from the world.