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Batteries

POSCO, GS join hands to expand battery, hydrogen business

To cooperate in the discovery of, and investment in, venture companies, the bio business and ESG

By Sep 07, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo (left) and GS Group Chairman Huh Tae-soo shake hands at a meeting of the companies' top executives (Courtesy of POSCO)
POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo (left) and GS Group Chairman Huh Tae-soo shake hands at a meeting of the companies' top executives (Courtesy of POSCO)

POSCO and GS Group have teamed up to expand their battery recycling and hydrogen businesses. The move came as South Korea’s top steelmaker POSCO is increasing its presence in the global electric vehicle battery materials, sector while energy-to construction conglomerate GS Group is securing future growth engines by investing in new businesses, such as a botox maker and a food delivery platform.

GS and POSCO signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate in five new sectors, including secondary battery recycling; the hydrogen business; venture company investment; the eco-friendly bio business, as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) management.

“It is significant to establish a foundation for group-level cooperation in various sectors including fast-growing eco-friendly markets such as hydrogen and batteries,” said POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo.

FOCUS ON BATTERY RECYCLING

The two companies are set to focus more on battery recycling that reuses key materials such as lithium and nickel from used batteries. GS Caltex Corp., the group’s refining unit, is slated to collect used batteries through its gas stations across the country, while POSCO plans to extract those materials with its metal recovery technologies.

That will allow GS to become a supplier of raw materials and POSCO to secure a stable source of raw materials for its anode and cathode business.

For the hydrogen business, the two companies agreed to cooperate throughout the value chain from clean hydrogen production to storage, transportation and utilization. POSCO aims to produce all of its steel with technology that uses hydrogen instead of coking coal, according to its goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Through its cooperation with GS, POSCO is set to secure a stable hydrogen supplier and create e nationwide fuel supply network, especially for basic chemicals, the steelmaker said.

“We will be able to produce new synergy if we work together with our assets and capabilities. We hope that this will become an opportunity to discover and develop eco-friendly future business integrated with digital technologies,” said GS Group chairman Huh Tae-soo.

GS Group is known to have proposed the MOU to POSCO. Since 2019 when Huh took the reins of the conglomerate, the group has been expanding its business portfolio into various innovative enterprises, such as acquiring a controlling stake in country’s top botox maker Hugel Inc., 

Write to Jeong Min Nam and Jung-hwan Hwang at peux@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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