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Battery materials

Korea’s Halla to enter EV battery materials business

Halla to invest $85.3 million in battery separator maker WCP

By Sep 16, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Separator in lithium-ion secondary battery (Courtesy of WCP)
Separator in lithium-ion secondary battery (Courtesy of WCP)

South Korea’s auto parts supplier Halla Holdings Corp. is making inroads into the electric vehicle battery materials business.

Halla said on Sept. 16 that it will invest 100 billion won ($85.3 million) to buy a 5% stake in W-Scope Chungju Plant Co. (WCP), a maker of separators, key materials of EV batteries along with anode materials, cathode materials and electrolytes.

The deal is expected to create synergy with Halla Group affiliates such as Mando Corp., an auto component unit, which is expanding EV parts.

“We see great growth potential, given WCP’s technology competitiveness, global expansion and growing battery markets,” said a Halla Holdings source.

WCP produces separators through a wet process, which is often used for EV batteries due to its high energy density despite a complicated manufacturing process. A separator prevents fires from inside a battery by separating the cathode and anode, while helping charge or discharge batteries by passing lithium ions through fine pores.

WCP, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan’s W-Scope, has its own technology with which to produce polymer films in a plant in Chungju, about 100 kilometers southeast of Seoul. Its productivity is known to be better than the world leader Asahi Kasei.

WCP plans to file a preliminary application for an initial public offering by the end of this year for a listing on South Korea’s stock market in the first half of 2022.

Write to Hyung-Kyu Kim at khk@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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