LG Energy Solution (LGES) recently announced that its battery facility in Arizona will become a key production hub for 46-series cylindrical cells in North America. After announcing its Q3 2023 earnings, LGES stated it aimed to preemptively respond to market demand for 46-series cylindrical cells.
“In response to constantly evolving and diversified market needs, we will secure differentiated production competitiveness across all segments, ranging from premium and mainstream to affordable,” said Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LG Energy Solution. “This will become our core engine for consistent mid-to-long term growth, upon which we will become a global leader providing the world-best value to our customers.”
The Arizona plant was initially expected to produce 2170 cells at an annual capacity of 27 GWh. However, the Korean battery supplier has decided to pivot its plans in Arizona and will instead produce 46-series cells and expand its annual production capacity to 36 GWh. LGES aims to start production on 46-series cells in Arizona by late 2025.
Earlier this year, the long-time Tesla battery supplier quadrupled its investment in the Arizona plant from $1.4 billion to $5.5 billion. At the time, LGES claimed the increased investment was due to strong demand for electric vehicles. However, after announcing its Q3 2023 sales, LGES tempered revenue expectations for 2024.
LGES posted a revenue of KRW 8.22 trillion, down 6.3% quarter-on-quarter and an increase of 7.5% year-over-year. It reported an operating profit of KRW 7.31.2 billion, up 58.7% quarter-on-quarter and 40.1% yoy.
The Korean battery supplier’s operating profit included the estimated IRA tax credit amount of KRW 215.5 billion—an increase of 94% compared to the previous quarter. The increase in LGES’ IRA tax credit amount was attributed to production and sales improvements thanks to the company’s ramped-up capacity in the United States. Without IRA Tax credits, LGES’ operating profit would be KRW 515.7 billion with a margin of 6.3%.
“With demand slowdown in Europe, EV production adjustment from OEMs, and reflection of metal price into average selling price (ASP) erosion, we saw a modest decline in our quarterly revenue,” explained Chang Sil Lee, CFO of LG Energy Solution. “Nonetheless, operating profit increased thanks to product mix improvement, enhanced productivity of new lines, and efforts for expense efficiencies.”