LG Energy Solution Expects To Overtake CATL, Confirms LFP Chemistry

At a press conference, ahead of the upcoming IPO at the Korea Exchange (KRX) in January 2022, LG Chem’s wholly-owned subsidiary LG Energy Solution (LGES) revealed its ambitious expectations.

Kwon Young-soo, LGSE CEO, said (via Yonhap News Agency and Reuters) that LG Energy Solution is expected to become the largest global EV battery supplier, outstripping China’s CATL (the current #1).

The main reasons – hinted at by the company – that should enable LGSE to beat CATL are:

  • a wider range of customers globally (compared to CATL’s focus on China)
  • higher order backlog – of about 260 trillion won ($217 billion)
  • better intellectual properties 

“We overwhelm the competitor in IPs, and we have more diverse clients in the U.S. and Europe, and production bases there to supply our products to those clients, which CATL doesn’t have,”

“I believe that the backdrop to CATL’s growth is that Chinese automakers have preferred locally produced batteries, or the policy to use them. Since we have more orders, we predict that we will be higher than CATL in terms of market share in the future.” – Kwon Young-soo, LGSE CEO

Soon, LGSE is expected to reveal the share price. It was previously expected that the market cap of the company at IPO will be 70 trillion won ($58.5 billion). As we understand, more than 80% of the LGSE will be owned by LG Chem after the IPO.

According to the reports, LGSE might rise as much as 12.75 trillion won ($10.6 billion).

Most of the proceeds – 8.84 trillion won ($7.4 billion) – will be spent on new manufacturing capacity (domestic and overseas), including:

  • 5.6 trillion won ($5.7 billion) for its Holland plant in Michigan, the United States
    According rumor, the plant will be expanded from 5 GWh/year to 40 GWh/year
  • 1.4 trillion won ($1.2 billion) for the Wroclaw plant in Poland
    (the largest EV battery plant in Europe)

The company also hinted that any new battery gigafactory in Europe (if decided), would be a joint venture type (with particular automakers). The factory in Poland is a wholly-owned subsidiary.

The LFP (lithium iron phosphate) rumor has been confirmed. LG Energy Solution intends to produce LFP batteries for energy storage systems (ESS) as well as for electric vehicles.

“We plan to actively use this material. Since we’ve developed it before, we will apply it to the ESS (energy storage system) and then to electric vehicles in the future,”

The LFP chemistry will join the current ones – NCM (nickel, cobalt, manganese) and new NCMA (nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum).

An important thing for investors is profitability. According to the report, the target is “more than double-digit operating margins” and at least about 25% growth year-over-year.


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