SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) — President Moon Jae-in attended the groundbreaking ceremony for an LG Chem cathode plant in the southeastern city of Gumi on Tuesday, saying he hopes the 475 billion won (US$397 million) project will boost South Korea’s competitiveness in the electric vehicle (EV) battery sector.
Moon traveled to the city 260 kilometers southeast of Seoul to meet with officials involved in the construction of the plant for the key battery component. The project was launched under a jobs program led by LG Chem and the provincial and municipal governments.
“Our country leads the global battery industry with its top-notch technology, but we lack competitiveness in the basic ecosystem, such as in materials and parts,” the president said during the ceremony at Gumico convention center.
“We will use the Gumi jobs program as an opportunity to strengthen the overall ecosystem of the battery industry,” he said.
Moon noted that the new plant is set to produce 60,000 tons of cathode annually after its completion in 2024, an amount enough to make 500,000 electric vehicles, which will help reduce the country’s dependence on imported cathode.
“Together with the Gumi jobs program, the Republic of Korea will take a step forward in the battery industry, which is a core element in the global supply chain competition,” he said.
Moon added that the plant will create more than 8,200 jobs and pledged the government’s full support in the form of free rent and other incentives.