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EV tie-up

SK, POSCO agree to develop new lightweight materials for future mobility

Mar 08, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

SK, POSCO agree to develop new lightweight materials for future mobility

South Korea’s SK Global Chemical, a wholly owned subsidiary of SK Innovation, and POSCO have joined hands to develop steel and plastic composite materials for future vehicles.  

SK Global Chemical’s CEO Na Kyung-soo and POSCO’s Head of Steel Business Unit Kim Hak-dong on Mar. 8 signed an agreement on the development of lightweight materials to address changing needs in the global vehicle parts market brought on by EV sales growth.  

Under the deal, the two companies will share technical knowledge on steel and plastic materials processing and manufacturing, with the ultimate goal to research and develop new materials that are both harder and lighter than those currently used in automobile parts.

The partnership is a rare case of the two companies sharing technology from the R&D stage.

Industry experts expect that SK and POSCO will specifically collaborate on creating composite materials for EV battery pack production, plastic materials with maximized adhesive strength through the use of steel-based materials, as well as materials for larger vehicle parts, such as car frames.   

SK Global Chemical CEO Na Kyung-soo, third from left, and POSCO Head of Steel Business Unit Kim Hak-dong, third from right, sign agreement
SK Global Chemical CEO Na Kyung-soo, third from left, and POSCO Head of Steel Business Unit Kim Hak-dong, third from right, sign agreement

EXPECTATIONS OF FURTHER TIE-UPS

The agreement marks the first joint project between the ESG-driven SK Group and POSCO Group, which is rapidly expanding its presence in the EV segment through a series of alliances with domestic companies.   

South Korea’s business community speculates that the two conglomerates may work together to further collaborate across related industry segments. SK is lately concentrating the group’s resources in the EV battery segment through SK Innovation, whereas POSCO is also developing EV battery materials through POSCO Chemical.

Kim remarked: “POSCO will be ready to enter the upcoming era of eco-friendly future vehicles by adding new, jointly developed materials such as plastics to our portfolio on top of the current steel-based vehicle parts.”

Na agreed that the partnership “will create synergy between our chemical business and the steelmaker to accelerate development of new materials suitable for future vehicles.”

Write to Kyung-Min Kang at kkm1026@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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