From Holland to Hamtramck: LG Chem ships batteries for the Volt

After some long months of fits and starts, accompanied by negative publicity and nay-saying, it’s great news that Holland’s LG Chem plant shipped its first load of lithium ion batteries in November.

“This represents three years of my professional life,” senior engineer Aaron Svacha told Holland Sentinel reporter Brian VanOchten. “I made sure I got a picture of it. It was just a matter of time, and that time has come.”

The photo Svacha snapped was of the tractor-trailer loaded pulling away with the inaugural shipment of LG Chem batteries to GM’s Hamtramck plant where Chevrolet Volts are assembled.

The advanced battery maker suffered through a series of setbacks to get this far, including fines for problems in using federal stimulus funds and a hiccup in the manufacturing process stemming from an ingredient that had not been properly registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.

But “the start of production at the pristine 600,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility should send a clear message that LGCMI has fulfilled its commitment to be an integral player in the Holland community since the plant was constructed on 120 acres of land along 48th Street,” VanOchten reported.