- LG Chem is a South Korean company.
- The firm plans to invest $3 billion in Montgomery County.
- Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee called it the “largest single foreign-direct investment” in state history.
A South Korean company is headed to Montgomery County in what Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Monday called the “largest single foreign-direct investment in the state’s history.”
Tennessee and LG Chem announced plans to develop a cathode materials plant for electric vehicle batteries, which Lee said will bring around 1,000 jobs to the area with a $3.2 billion investment.
“What we’re announcing today will change the lives of Tennesseans,” Lee said.
LG Chem CEO Hak Cheol Shin said construction on the plant is set to begin in the first quarter of 2023, with mass production scheduled to start in late 2025. Shin said the factory is projected to produce 120,000 tons of cathode battery materials annually once fully operational , which is enough to power batteries in 1.2 million electric vehicles.
Tennessee Economic Development Commissioner Stuart McWhorter confirmed that Tennessee had offered incentives to the company for the Clarksville development, but he did not offer further details. The deal still awaits a technical sign-off from the State Funding Board, which meets again in mid-December.
The announcement, the latest in a string of news putting Tennessee at the forefront of the electric-vehicle industry, follows weeks of speculation that an undisclosed company was considering the Montgomery site for a possible multibillion-dollar production plant.
Formerly farmland owned by the Allensworth family, the 422-acre, now-industrial site is served by rail and a Tennessee Valley Authority substation. The community purchased the property last year for $18 million.
Shin said the site’s access to TVA energy, and existing infrastructure played a major role in the company’s decision to choose Clarksville, although he declined to name other locations the company considered.
The Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council has been mum on the prospects for a major development project on the site. But the EDC has been working to make it more attractive to a potential developer, including winning a variance enabling a company to build structures higher than the previous M-2 Industrial zoning for the site had allowed.
“We are grateful that LG Chem will expand their investment in Clarksville, providing an historic level of capital investment along with hundreds of new, high-paying jobs for families in our growing community,” Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said. “This announcement is more good news for our community, and further proves Clarksville-Montgomery County is on the right track in our economic development efforts.”
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