Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: LG Energy Solution is building a $5.5 billion EV battery plant in Arizona; a France-based auto parts maker opens a $147 million plant in Mexico; Nuevo Leon opens a $100 million “peripheral” highway; and an Arizona port of entry opens cold storage rooms.

LG Energy Solution to build $5.5B EV battery plant in Arizona

LG Energy Solution announced it will build a $5.5 billion battery manufacturing facility near Phoenix to supply both electric vehicles and energy systems.

The new facility will be the single largest investment ever in a stand-alone battery manufacturing complex in North America, according to a news release from LG.

“LG Energy Solution’s decision to increase investment in cylindrical EV battery production in North America comes from rising demand from EV makers for locally manufactured high-quality, high-performance batteries,” the company said.

The new facility is scheduled to begin production in 2025, mainly for EV makers in North America. LG Energy Solution also has an EV battery plant in Holland, Michigan. Some of the company’s automotive customers include Ford, Honda and Tesla.

Seoul, South Korea-based LG Energy Solution is one of the largest battery makers in the world. It has 22,000 global employees and factories in South Korea, the U.S., China and Poland.

France-based auto parts maker opens $147M plant in Mexico

Automotive supplier Forvia recently opened a $147 million plant in Apodaca, Mexico.

The 360,000-square-foot facility will create 1,500 jobs and produce car seats, instrument panels and center consoles. 

France-based Forvia has more than 300 factories in 40 countries. The company employs more than 157,000 people around the world.

Apodaca is located near the Mexican city of Monterrey, about 140 miles from the U.S.-Mexico port of entry in Laredo, Texas.

Mexican state of Nuevo Leon opens $100M ‘peripheral’ highway 

The Mexican state of Nuevo Leon announced the completion of its Monterrey Metropolitan Area Peripheral Highway project.

The roadway will allow traffic to go around the Mexican city of Monterrey and was constructed primarily to speed up cargo transportation, officials said. 

“This highway will help us to unload 70% of the cargo that does not go to Monterrey, and they will reach the [Interserrana Highway] or the airport,” Samuel Garcia, governor of Nuevo Leon, said in a news release.

The Interserrana Highway is a new roadway that will connect Central Mexico to Monterrey, while also connecting to the port of entry in Laredo. The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

Officials expect more than 3,500 tractor-trailers a day to use the peripheral highway around Monterrey, cutting more than 50 minutes off of transport times.

Arizona port of entry opens cold storage rooms

The Mariposa port of entry in Nogales, Arizona, recently opened two cold storage rooms designed to handle fresh produce and medical products arriving from Mexico.

Occupying two dock bays, the cold rooms total 2,000 square feet, providing more space for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to conduct inspections in a temperature-controlled environment, according to a news release.

Nogales is located along the U.S.-Mexico border and is the primary port of entry for winter produce from Mexico. Last year, the Port of Mariposa processed over 5 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables entering the United States.

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