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Thu. 11:12 a.m.: GM looking to build 2nd US battery factory, Tennessee likely

WARREN — General Motors is looking to build a second electric vehicle battery-cell manufacturing plant in the U.S. with joint venture partner LG Chem of South Korea, and hopes to have a decision by the middle of the year.

The plant would join one under construction in Lordstown, the $2.3 billion Ultium Cells LLC that expects to launch early phase production in early 2022. At full capacity, the plant will employ upward of 1,100 people.

Ultium Cells on Tod Avenue SW — adjacent to the automaker’s former assembly plant — will supply battery cells for several GM electric vehicle models, including so far the GMC Hummer, Cadillac Lyriq and Cruise Origin — GM’s electric driverless vehicle.

GM spokesman Dan Flores would not say where the company is looking, but it’s likely to be near GM’s Spring Hill, Tenn., factory complex, which is one of three sites the company has designated to build electric vehicles.

In November, GM purchased 144 acres near Ultium, almost doubling the 158-acre site for the plant.

Flores said then the land was acquired “primarily to support the placement and routing of utilities needed to service” Ultium Cells. Beyond that, “it provides us flexibility as well, but I can’t really define what flexibility means at this point in time,” he said.

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