Tagged: battery plant

Battery maker LG Energy Solution considering sites for North American HQ

Holland, Mich. — LG Energy Solution is positioning its growing operation in Holland to become the company’s North American headquarters as it scales up battery manufacturing across the country.

The designation could bring an influx of white-collar and senior-level positions, building on the hundreds of advanced manufacturing jobs LG Energy Solution Michigan is creating with its $1.7 billion lithium ion battery plant expansion in Holland. LG Energy Solution Michigan is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seoul, South Korea-based LG Energy Solution.

“We are seriously considering making this site the headquarters for North America,” Roger Traboulay, project manager at LG Energy Solution Michigan, said during a presentation to local developers Aug. 3 at the expansion site in Holland. “If that happens, it would bring in a whole band of directors and senior persons with [a need for] executive-level housing.”

Holland is among the eight plants across the U.S. and Canada that LG is aggressively investing to build capacity and supply chains for automakers that are launching electric vehicle lines, Automotive News reported this week. Once up and running, which is expected by mid-decade, the eight plants would have a combined 300 gigawatt-hours of electric vehicle battery production capacity.

Of those eight sites, Holland and an Arizona facility are the only two solely owned by the company, while the rest are joint ventures with major automakers. The projects represent nearly $27 billion in combined investment between LG Energy Solution and its automaker partners, which include General Motors, Stellantis, Honda and Hyundai.

“As LG Energy Solution continues to expand in North America, the Holland facility is on track to fulfill the role of a control center (i.e. a ‘Mother Factory’), providing operational support and employee education/training to other facilities in the region,” LG Energy Solution Communications Manager Val Gent said via email.


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A profile of global battery maker Clarios: Company leading drive for low-wage EV workforce

Picket line at Clarios in Holland, Ohio [Photo: WSWS]

Striking workers at the Clarios battery plant outside Toledo, Ohio, confront a multi-national corporation with a web of operations spanning the globe.

The 525 workers have been on strike since May 8 after massively rejecting a sellout deal brought back by the UAW, containing totally inadequate pay raises and not addressing intolerable levels of overtime and unsafe conditions. They regularly work 19 days in a row and 12 hours a shift at straight time. Workers have lost $10 an hour or more due to repeated cuts in piece rates. In addition, workers must get regularly tested for high levels of lead in their blood.

Milwaukee-based Clarios is the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive batteries. According to the firm’s website, the company produces “more than 150 million batteries—one-third of the industry’s output—every year.” It had a gross profit in 2022 of $1.6 billion.

The battery maker employs 16,000 people at operations at 56 facilities around the world, including Mexico, China, Germany, South Korea, Brazil and the US.  It recently acquired Spanish battery recycler Metalúrgica de Medina. The company is reportedly joining with Natron Energy to manufacture what the partners said would be the world’s first mass-produced sodium ion batteries.

Its 18 US facilities include a lithium ion battery plant in Holland, Michigan, and manufacturing operations in Kernerville, North Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; St. Joseph, Missouri; Red Oak, Iowa and Florence, South Carolina. It also has a research center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  

Clarios North American facilities [Photo: Clarios]

Clarios closed a battery plant in Middletown, Delaware, in 2020, axing 230 jobs. The company said the move was aimed at “streamlining” its operations. The state had forked over millions of dollars in subsidies when the facility expanded in 2011. Earlier in the year the

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