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South Korea-Based LOTTE Chemical Plans Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Manufacturing Center

South Korea-based LOTTE Aluminium Materials USA will locate an aluminum foil manufacturing operation in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The $238.7 million project is expected to create 122 jobs in Hardin County.

The facility, a joint venture between LOTTE Chemical and LOTTE Aluminium, will be located on 40 acres in the T.J. Patterson Industrial Park and will be the company’s first aluminum foil plant in the United States. Operations are planned for 2025.

“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.

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in May preliminarily approved a 10-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 of $238.7 million and annual targets of the creation and maintenance of 122 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years; and paying an average hourly wage of $23.35 including benefits across those jobs.

Additionally, KEDFA approved LOTTE for up to $1 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments. In addition, LOTTE can 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.

“I want to welcome LOTTE to Kentucky as we continue to see significant investment from EV-related businesses across the state,” Governor Andy Beshear added. “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.”

The facility will produce 36,000 tons of cathode foil, a type of ultra-thin aluminum foil that is a core material used in EV batteries. Cathode foil is one of the four major components of lithium-ion batteries and supports 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.

“Amid recent large-scale industrial development announcements in the Elizabethtown-Hardin County area over the last year, there have been plenty of discussions regarding ancillary projects coming to the region,” said Matt Hess, board chair for the Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation. “This announcement proves there is a lot of truth to the assertion that our industrial sector will only grow in the coming years.”

LOTTE Aluminium and LOTTE Chemical are subsidiaries of LOTTE Group, one of the largest conglomerates in South Korea, with over 90 business units employing more than 80,000 people. LOTTE Group serves a broad range of industries, including hospitality, financial services, food manufacturing, entertainment, industrial chemicals and aluminum manufacturing, among others.

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