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LG Chem factory in Holland will finally start producing lithium ion batteries

LG Chem.jpgLG Chem Michigan Inc.’s plant will finally start producing batteries in July, the company announced Sunday.Jim Harger | Mlive Media Group
HOLLAND, MI – LG Chem Michigan Inc.’s plant, much maligned and fined for keeping its workers on its payroll while they played cards and watched movies on the job, will start producing lithium ion batteries for cars in July, the Korean company announced Sunday, May 5.

The sprawling white plant east of Holland will produce batteries for the Chevrolet Volt and other electric vehicles once it has completed its “Production Part Approval Process” and gained customer approval, company officials said.

“Test runs have already begun at the facility and the company is targeting the start of commercial production this July. LGCMI anticipates shipping product by the end of this summer,” LG Chem said in a press release issued late Sunday.

“The plant initially will manufacture batteries for the Chevrolet Volt, and the volume is expected to consistently increase depending on the EV market and securing additional contracts. The company is also working to procure additional programs for future production. “

Built at a cost of $303 million, the 600,000-square-foot plant was supposed to begin production of batteries for the Chevrolet Volts and the Ford Focus EV by mid-2012. Company officials predicted it would employ as many as 440 workers.

But as early sales of the Volt faltered, LG Chem did not start production at the Holland plant but kept its 200 workers on payroll while it awaited more orders. For Volts that were being made and sold, LG Chem flew the batteries in from Korea.


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