Dec. 5 (UPI) -- General Motors announced a new joint venture Thursday with South Korean company LG Chem to produce battery cells for electric vehicles, a move the automaker said will mean more than 1,000 new jobs in northeast Ohio.
GM said groundbreaking for the new Lordstown, Ohio, plant, about 60 miles southeast of Cleveland, is expected in the middle of next year. The companies said they're investing $2.3 billion in the venture.
GM closed a plant in Lordstown earlier this year, which affected thousands of workers, and said last month it would sell the facility to Lordstown Motors.
LG Chem is the chemical arm of the LG Corporation, which also manufactures electronic devices like smartphones and televisions.
"With this investment, Ohio and its highly capable workforce will play a key role in our journey toward a world with zero emissions," GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. "Combining our manufacturing expertise with LG Chem's leading battery-cell technology will help accelerate our pursuit of an all-electric future."
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the new plant is a major boost to the economy of northeast Ohio.
"Ohio is a major supplier state for the automotive industry and the announcement that Ohio will be the location to manufacture next-generation electric batteries will mean more than 1,100 new jobs for Ohioans," he said.
GM presently manufactures lithium-ion battery packs for its Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid at its Brownstown, Mich., plant near Detroit.
The company noted that the plan complements a $28 million investment it made at a battery lab in Warren, Mich., and 450 new jobs at Ohio plants in Toledo, Parma and Brookville.