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Battery materials

Posco Chemical to supply EV battery materials to GM-LG Energy JV

Apr 05, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

EV battery system platform Ultium, jointly developed by LG Energy and GM
EV battery system platform Ultium, jointly developed by LG Energy and GM

Posco Chemical Co., the secondary battery materials unit of POSCO, will supply anodes, a key material used in electric car batteries, to the joint venture between General Motors Co. and LG Energy Solution Ltd.

Posco Chemical said on Apr. 5 that it has been chosen as a supplier of anodes to the JV, Ultium Cells LLC, for lithium-ion batteries to be used in GM’s electric vehicles.

The supply contract follows a similar deal in December 2020, when the POSCO unit agreed to provide GM with cathodes, another critical material for EV batteries.

Through the latest deal, Posco Chemical is expected to further enhance its presence in the global anode market. Currently, the Korean company is the world’s fourth-largest anode maker with an 11% market share.

Posco Chemical plans to manufacture the product at its Sejong plant with an aim to expand its supplies to other global automakers.

“We’ve been selected as a supplier of anodes to GM as a result of groupwide support for our business at POSCO,” said a Posco Chemical official.

Ultium Cells LLC, LG’s joint venture with GM, is currently building a $2.3 billion EV battery cell manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio. The 30-GWh-capacity plant is expected to start operations in 2022.

Graphics by Jerry Lee
Graphics by Jerry Lee

POSCO EYES TOP SPOT AS BATTERY MATERIALS PLAYER

The top South Korean battery maker also said last month it is considering building a second electric vehicle battery plant in the US with its joint venture partner GM to solidify its position in the American market.

GM aims to roll out 30 EV models by 2025 as the US auto giant moves toward a fully electric lineup.

POSCO, Korea’s largest steelmaker, on Dec. 3 unveiled its goal of becoming the world’s top player in the global EV battery materials market by 2030 by establishing a value chain from raw material procurement to the production of battery materials.

Posco Chemical researcher runs quality tests on battery cells
Posco Chemical researcher runs quality tests on battery cells

At the forefront of the long-term project is Posco Chemical, which plans to procure 220,000 tons of lithium and 100,000 tons of nickel by 2030, with an aim to gain a 20% share of the global market by posting 23 trillion won ($20.4 billion) in sales by then.

The chemical unit also plans to produce 400,000 tons of anodes and 260,000 tons of cathodes, two key materials used in EV batteries, by 2030.

Write to Kyung-Min Kang at Kkm1026@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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