LOTTE Aluminium Materials USA LLC plans to invest $238.7 million to build an aluminum foil manufacturing operation on 40 acres in the T.J. Patterson Industrial Park in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The new facility is a joint venture between LOTTE Aluminium and LOTTE Chemical, subsidiaries of LOTTE Group.
The new manufacturing operation will focus on the production of cathode foil, a type of ultra-thin aluminum foil which is a core material used in electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Cathode foil is one of the four major components of lithium-ion batteries, supporting the cathode active material that determines the capacity and voltage of the secondary battery, and at the same time serves as a passage for electrons. The company believes that demand for cathode foil will increase by an average of 32% annually by 2030.
The new foil facility will produce 36,000 tons of cathode foil annually — and will be LOTTE Group’s first aluminum foil facility located in the U.S.
“We will do our best to develop and support technology, so that we can stably produce high-quality and high-efficiency cathode foils to respond to customers one step at a time,” said Kim Gyo Hyun, president and CEO of LOTTE Chemical.
LOTTE Group is one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea, with over 90 business units employing more than 80,000 people. The group’s subsidiary LOTTE Aluminium, founded in 1966, manufactures aluminum foil, printed packaging materials and corrugated cardboard boxes, among other products. Meanwhile, LOTTE Chemical, established in 1976, produces basic chemicals and advanced materials, including polymers, monomers, basic petrochemicals, construction and interior materials and water treatment membrane.
Kentucky is a national leader in the rapidly growing EV market, with significant investment across the past two years. Since June 2020, the commonwealth has seen over $8.5 billion in EV-related investments, with well over 8,000 full-time jobs announced.
“I want to welcome LOTTE to Kentucky as we continue to see significant investment from EV-related businesses across the state,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Further growth of this sector will require attraction of a broad range of suppliers, and this announcement by LOTTE signifies just that. We are building an ecosystem that will last for generations to come, and I am happy to announce this company will be a very important part of that vision.”
LOTTE’s investment and planned job creation is expected to further recent economic momentum in the region. The new foil operation is expected to create 122 full-time jobs. As a result, the company is receiving significant support from state and local programs.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved a ten-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $3.3 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment and annual targets of:
- Creation and maintenance of 122 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs over ten years.
- Paying an average hourly wage of $23.35 including benefits across those jobs.
KEDFA also approved LOTTE for up to $1 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA), which allows companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development, and electronic processing.
In addition, LOTTE is eligible to receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training, and job-training incentives.
The Kentucky foil facility is expected to begin operation in 2025.