LG Energy Lands Financing for $5.5B Battery Complex

This project will be the largest-ever investment of its kind in North America.

A year after announcing plans to build a $5.5 billion battery manufacturing complex in Queen Creek, Ariz., Seoul-based LG Energy Solution is moving forward with construction of the two separate facilities thanks to new financing from a New York City-based investment firm.

The Phoenix Business Journal reported LGES has entered into a long-term ground lease with U.S. Realty Advisors, which will provide capital to the global technology company and fund the build-to-suit project that will comprise a cylindrical-battery plant for electric vehicles and a lithium iron phosphate pouch-type battery plant for energy storage systems.

An LGES spokesperson told the business journal the ground lease and other agreements signed with USRA will help the company reduce the amount of direct investment needed to construct the Phoenix-area battery complex and build and operate several other North American production facilities.

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David Grazioli, a managing partner with USRA, confirmed the deal, telling the business publication the lease would also allow LGES to achieve long-term maturity borrowing. According to the business journal, USRA is selling 6.73 percent bondable lease-backed green series A-1 secured notes in the aggregate principal amount of nearly $2 billion and 6.68 percent bondable lease-backed green series A-2 senior secured notes in the principal amount of $390 million.

In addition to announcing the Queen Creek complex, LGES last year partnered with Hyundai Motor Group to build a $4.3 billion battery production facility near Savannah, Ga., and Honda to develop a $3.5 billion facility in Fayette County, Ohio.

Arizona plans

The Queen Creek project represents the largest-ever single investment for a stand-alone battery manufacturing facility in North America, according to LGES, which reportedly ranks among the world’s top five or six battery makers.

Set for an approximately 300-acre site, LGES is planning to build a 1.4 million-square-foot plant to produce cylindrical EV batteries first. As of last year’s announcement, the company expected to invest $3.2 billion in the EV battery plant and $2.3 billion to construct the ESS battery facility, with capacities of 27 GWh and 16 GWh, respectively.

The company’s initial timeline has been pushed back with production expected to start in late 2025 at the cylindrical battery facility and in 2026 for the lithium iron battery plant.

An official groundbreaking has not been held at the site, but the Town of Queen Creek said on its website that initial footing and foundation work has begun on the first phase and vertical construction is expected to begin this year. The town began clearing the site for Phase 1 in September. As part of the development agreement, the town is committed to assisting with clearing the site and providing public infrastructure improvements such as water, wastewater and roadways, adjacent to the property. As of last fall, a sewer line was being installed along Germann Road between Meridian and Ironwood roads, and a waterline between Meridian and Ironwood roads. Utilities were to be installed within Ironwood Road from Germann Road to Pecos Road, according to town documents.

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