LG Energy Solutions has revealed plans to develop its Ochang battery production facility in Cheongju, Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea, into a “Mother Factory” – a global technology hub for battery manufacturing plants worldwide. The company intends to invest KRW 600bn ($531m) by next year in this endeavor.
The Ochang facility currently serves as the central factory for LG Energy Solutions’ battery production plants operating across North America, Europe, and Asia. A new cylindrical battery “Mother Line,” which has been under construction since June last year with a KRW 580bn ($511m) investment, is also in progress at the Ochang plant.
The future “Mother Line” will enable not only test production of products featuring next-generation design and process technology but also mass production verification. While pilot lines are typically limited to trial production, necessitating separate follow-up work for mass production testing, the new “Mother Line” will enable this process to occur in one place. The facility plans to conduct pilot production and mass production verification of the “pouch long cell battery” and integrate it into production lines worldwide.
LG Energy Solutions is currently constructing a Factory Monitoring Control Center (FMCC) at the Ochang plant, incorporating a deep learning system based on artificial intelligence (AI) to convert production lines around the world into video data.
Last month, Kwon Young-soo, vice chairman of LG Energy Solutions, announced in an internal communication that the Ochang plant would be nurtured as a “Mother Factory” focused on the development and production of next-generation batteries, with investment plans set to expand. The company aims to invest a total of KRW 4tn ($3.5bn) by 2026 in collaboration with Chungbuk and Cheongju.
Kwon stated, “The Ochang Energy Plant is the control tower where new technologies are first applied in factories around the world, and it is the center of LG Energy Solutions’ global production plants.”