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LG Chem to hold market lead with tenfold battery patents vs CATL: executive

Oct 19, 2020 (Gmt+09:00)

South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd., which has heavily invested in research and development projects, says it will retain its market lead over close rival Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), aided by advanced technology and its vast number of battery-related patents.

LG Chem President Kim Jong-hyun, in charge of the company’s battery business, was upbeat on the rechargeable battery industry in an Oct. 6 presentation, saying that the global automobile market will be reorganized around electric vehicles sooner than expected.

“Unlike CATL and our other rivals, LG Chem is a chemical company with accumulated technical knowhow on materials. This also puts us at the top of the battery business,” Kim said at the Korea Investment Festival 2020, organized by The Korea Economic Daily and Korea Investment & Securities Co.

LG Chem President Kim Jong-hyun speaks at the Korea Investment Festival

He said LG Chem has 22,016 battery-related patents, 10 times as many patents as CATL, which puts the Korean company far ahead of its rivals in the development of next-generation EV batteries.

“More specifically, we’ll take the lead in developing NCMA batteries and silicon anode to maintain our leadership in the market,” said the executive.

According to market research firm SNE Research, LG Chem maintained its market lead with 15.92 GWh of battery capacity supply in the first eight months of this year, accounting for 24.6% of the global EV battery market.

China’s CATL is swiftly closing in on LG with its market share of 24%, followed by Japan’s Panasonic Corp. at 19.2%.

The world’s top battery maker has said it plans to unveil NCMA (nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum) batteries containing a higher portion of nickel next year.

LG and other Korean battery makers have been working to increase the portion of nickel in their new EV battery models. Nickel increases the energy density in batteries.

Nickel demand for use in batteries is expected to multiply by more than seven times from this year’s estimated 150,000 tons to 1.1 million tons by 2030, industry sources say.


The LG Chem executive said the global EV market is growing at a faster-than-expected pace with a significant improvement in electric car mileage on a single battery charge. With tightened environment regulations worldwide and the steady rise in the number of rapid charging stations, EVs will dominate the global auto market in the not-to-distant future, he added.

NASDAQ LISTING OF BATTERY BUSINESS POSSIBLE

At Tuesday’s business seminar, LG Chem executives reaffirmed that its soon-to-be-launched battery subsidiary, LG Energy Solutions, could be separately listed on an overseas bourse.

Asked if the new company will be listed on Nasdaq, an LG Chem investor relations official said: “That remains an option. If that happens, our overall listing plans would be sooner.”

LG plans an initial offering of the battery business in the latter half of next year or in early 2022 at the latest on the Seoul bourse.

He said the sale of a certain stake in LG Energy Solutions to an automaker is also possible.

LG Chem said on Sept. 17 it will split off its electric-car battery business into a separate entity, to carve out value as global demand for such vehicles increases rapidly.

Write to Man-Su Choe, Jae-Won Park and Yun-Sang Ko at bebop@hankyung.com

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