LG Chem breaks ground for EV battery plant in China
SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Yonhap) -- LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's largest chemicals company, said Thursday it has begun construction of an electric-powered vehicle (EV) battery factory in China with the aim of starting commercial production in 2016.
Once completed in the eastern city of Nanjin at the end of next year as planned, the plant will have the production capacity to power 100,000 EVs, the company said in an e-mailed statement.
In order to conduct its project, LG Chem established a 50-50 joint venture in August, teaming up with two of China's state-run investment companies.
LG Chem has been seeking to expand its EV battery business in China, eyeing growing demand on the back of Beijing's plans to tackle air pollution by introducing more eco-friendly cars.
"The Chinese electric car market is expected to become the world's biggest electric car market, achieving fast growth starting in 2016," said Kwon Young-soo, LG Chem's battery division director.
Global carmakers have been rushing to introduce emission-free cars in the world's largest car market as Beijing earlier announced it will have 500,000 electric-propelled vehicles on the road by 2015 and 5 million by 2020.
The global battery market for EVs is expected to grow to US$18.24 billion in 2020, more than fivefold the $3.26 billion it was in 2013, LG Chem said, quoting data by global market researcher B3.