After months of hiatus, LG Energy Solution has taken a small step towards building a proposed battery production facility at Queen Creek.
However, the company has remained vague about its construction timetable — or even firmly committed to the long-term proposed plans here.
The South Korean company has been quiet for nearly a year after announcing a $2.8 billion investment in the facility, which is owned by the State Land Department of State Trust Land on 650 acres near N. Ironwood Drive and E. Germann Road. won the auction of
In a Jan. 31 letter, Byungsoo Ko, director of US subsidiary ES America, LLC, said that Sandra Watson, president and CEO of the Arizona Department of Commerce, LG “agreed to make at least $50 in capital investment. He said that he was preparing an oath certificate. $1 million to build new manufacturing at the site.
Queen Creek’s economic development director, Doreen Cott, was pictured in the letter, but did not respond to a request for comment, and the town gave little response when asked about the letter.
“At this time, there are no updates on the LGES project,” said town spokeswoman Constance Halonen Wilson. “The town and (Pinal) county remain committed to the advanced manufacturing corridor and the opportunities it brings to the region.”
Sophia Sojung Kim, a spokesperson for LG Energy Solutions in South Korea, said the company had not yet made a final decision on the facility, but confirmed a letter to the Commerce Ministry.
“LGES has signed a letter confirming that its original investment plan (announced last year) exceeds US$50 million, making Queen Creek Township eligible for the Arizona Department of Revenue reimbursement program.” she said in an email.
“In short, LGES has confirmed and agreed that Queen Creek Township will be reimbursed by the Arizona government,” wrote Sojeong Kim.
LGES said it was in “active talks” with Tesla and other electric vehicle startups to source batteries from the proposed Queen Creek, but did not provide further details, according to the Reuters News Service. I didn’t.
According to online publication Business Korea, LG Energy Solutions said in its financial results conference call on Jan. 27 that it was “discussing with Tesla about the supply of cylindrical batteries produced at its Arizona plant.”
That report also said the facility could expand beyond its current planned size given the growing demand for lithium batteries, including Tesla.
The site sits within more than 4,000 acres of former State Trust Land that the town has annexed and marketed to developers to develop commercial and industrial projects.
As part of the agreement with LGES, Queen Creek will “build on the public infrastructure improvements stipulated in the development agreement,” the letter to the Commerce Department said.
According to the LGES website, the new battery facility will be North America’s first cylindrical lithium battery manufacturing plant.
“Batteries produced at the Arizona plant will be supplied to EV manufacturers, including prominent North American-based startups and power tool companies,” LGES said when it first unveiled the facility in 2022. .
“The company’s brand new manufacturing facility utilizes state-of-the-art smart factory systems that boast remote support, manufacturing intelligence, logistics automation and more.
“This unique technology, along with our expertise in high-volume battery production, will enable LGES to meet consumer demand in a consistent manner and secure its leadership in the North American battery market,” said its website. .
Construction was supposed to begin in the second quarter of last year, but activity has since ceased, according to LGES.
The company hasn’t started developing the site, and the slowdown has led to speculation about whether the project will go ahead, as LGES announced it was reviewing its plans.
However, Business Korea, citing an anonymous source close to LGES, said, “LG Energy Solution was not considering canceling the investment plan even when it announced the review.”
An official said, “We are aware that details of the plan, such as the scale of the plant and the timing of mass production, were adjusted during the review process due to changes in the business environment.” “I think sooner or later the project will be restarted.”
The letter of intent to invest $50 million in the Ministry of Commerce has no official confirmation from Seoul, but confirms the deal is still in progress.
“We are still considering investing in Arizona and will make an official announcement once we reach a final decision,” Sojung Kim said this week.
The partnership includes LGES, Queen Creek and Pinal County.
LG’s initial announcement of plans to build a factory sparked some controversy.
Town officials say it will. Neighbors, who have severely damaged the town’s economy, have expressed concern that it could become an environmental time bomb that threatens people, pets and livestock.