LG Chem To Construct Battery Factory In Poland

1 year ago by Mark Kane 20

LG Chem lithium-ion battery cell

LG Chem lithium-ion battery cell

Opel Ampera-e

Opel Ampera-e

LG Chem has plans to build a lithium-ion battery cell factory in Europe, and according to Reuters, the plant will be located in Poland.

LG Chem currently already has three battery plants – in South Korea, U.S., and China.

The Europe facility would be helpful to meet growing demand from German carmakers recently signed up with LG in Europe.

LG Chem’s new battery factory could be ready in about 1.5 years, so by the end of 2017 seems like a reasonable expectation.

An interesting note from the report is for a production capacity of 229,000 batteries … but of undefined size annually.

“The facilities, to be located in the southwestern Polish city of Wroclaw, will ultimately have a production capacity of 229,000 EV batteries a year, making it LG Chem’s second-biggest EV battery factory after China, the source said.”

2016 Renault ZOE Swiss Edition (limited edition)

2016 Renault ZOE Swiss Edition (limited edition)

At this point, the news is still unofficial:

“A spokesman for LG Chem said it was considering adding car battery production facilities, but nothing had been decided.”

LG Chem batteries in Europe would be used by:

  • General Motors (Opel)
  • Renault
  • Daimler
  • Volkswagen
  • Audi
  • Volvo

source: Reuters

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20 responses to "LG Chem To Construct Battery Factory In Poland"

  1. ModernMarvelFan says:

    No need for Giga factory when you have many multi-Mega factories around the world…

    1. Speculawyer says:

      But do lots of Megafactories have the same efficiencies of scale? (I don’t know.)

      And this is probably just a cell factory such that the cells are shipped elsewhere before put into packs.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        I think it can as long as the factory is set up to maximize its equipment and outputs…

        Of course, there will be overhead such as land…etc But it can be cheaper upfront from a cost of capital point of view.

      2. SparkEV says:

        Having many mega isn’t as efficient. You can imagine if each factory makes one cell and you have billions of them how inefficient that would be.

        There’s also the question of shipping multiple raw materials to multiple destinations vs shipping all raw materials to one locations and ship finished product to multiple locations (latter is cheaper).

        But in case of LG, they may have to diversify due to geo-politics. If the war resumes (Korean war never ended), they might have to leverage from multiple factories, and Chinese factory could be in jeopardy.

        1. Terawatt says:

          I think you often write intelligent stuff here. But

          >Having many mega isn’t as efficient. You can imagine if each factory makes one cell and you have billions of them how inefficient that would be.

          That’s not silly, it’s STUPID. The fact that having a billion factories would be inefficient doesn’t mean that more is better with no upper limit.

          For example, assume the necessary inputs to the factory aren’t available in unlimited quantities. Then three factories, each located near the source of its inputs, may well be more efficient than one big getting only a third of its inputs from nearby.

          Even in cases where more is better without limit there is such a thing as diminishing returns.

          I expect Tesla to take more risk than everyone else. They will do more of what it takes to start with stuff we find in nature to make it into a battery pack than the others, starting with more basic inputs. By having fine control and detailed understanding of all the processes they’ll have more opportunities than the others to make amendments – as well as more chances to screw it up. But if history is any guide, Tesla never chooses the easy way, but rather the one that can lead to the most optimal result. And that’s why I believe they will succeed, but their time frames and quality will continue to be a challenge for customers and Tesla employees and shareholders alike. It simply goes with the territory.

          1. SparkEV says:

            One cell per factory is an extreme example. It’s to illustrate more overhead per factory, and that’s true whether it’s ten factories or billions.

            AFAIK, Poland doesn’t have any big raw material sources for batteries. In the absense of ability to risk-it-all in their native country, Poland is a nice central location to serve all of Europe along with “lowish” wage compared to western Europe. If I’m LG, that’s probably the country I’d pick.

            In the future, I’d also pick a country in South America, probably Bolivia or nearby. For now, the region’s demand is not high enough and some countries “nuts”, despite close access to some raw materials. I’d hate to sink tons of money into battery factory only to have it “nationalized”

      3. SJC says:

        It is Economies of Scale versus risk. If there is a disruption in production with one large plant, deliveries stop.

  2. Speculawyer says:

    “capacity of 229,000 EV batteries a year”

    Damn . . . even if those are just 8KWH packs for pathetic wimpy German PHEVs, that is pretty impressive factory size.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      That is still a GWh. =)

      1. Eco says:

        Almost 2 GWh/year but the Gigafactory is going to be about 25 GWh/year (500,000 x 50 kWh 🙂

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          By the time the Gigafactory will actually reach these 25 GWh/year (if they’ll ever reach), SE Asia battery cell makers will have a dozen of “gigafactories”. Single LG Chem factory in Korea had some 3 GWh capacity 3 years ago that was mostly unused.
          http://koreaittimes.com/story/26828/lg-chem-crank-its-idle-battery-productions-lines

  3. Tman says:

    It’s so annoying when battery makers announce a factory’s capacity in number of batteries without giving any indication of battery size. All new plants announced by LG Samsung and Panasonic use this vague metric.

  4. Cavaron says:

    Sadly a factory in Poland means, that it will be mostly coal powered 🙁

    1. Q says:

      It most probably will be near Wroclaw. There you have already plenty of wind farms and you can contract the energy provider to commit delivering “clean” energy.
      Sure, it is on the paper but at the end balance sheet will show the utilization of green vs black energy and force the utilities to provide more cleaner energy.
      Plus LG has the potential to cover large areas with solar panels and install ESS containers for efficient use of collected energy.
      It is still much better though in Poland than in Germany. Turns out, German coal plants are emitting way higher amount of pollution as whole Polish industry 😀

      1. Cavaron says:

        I hope they contract some of that wind than!

        Yeah, Germany has some filthy brown coal plants and instead of shutting them down because of more renewables, they export more and more power. But do you have excat numbers for them and the polish industry?

        1. Q says:

          If there is a demand for such information I’ll post a link later today when I’m back home.
          What is extra funny is that recently Poland has signed a contract with Germany to allow energy transfer corridor from north to south +Austria via Polish western infrastructure. Since the whole power grid in Europa is connected (similar to internet, with hubs and transformer stations) it is simply just a matter of semantics to claim, what kind of energy is powering what.

    2. Mark says:

      The priority should be increasing the production capacity and lowering the cost. This is what currently inhibits wider adoption of EVs. Greenwashing has its place but the emissions won’t matter until the market share hits 20-30%.

  5. Chris O says:

    229K batteries including a large percentage batteries for low AER PHEVs no doubt is not a lot of batteries to go around for a host of carmakers wondering what to do about Model 3’s runaway success…