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Battery materials

SKC to form JV with British Nexeon for silicon anode business

The move to intensify competition for battery materials business within SK Group

By Sep 29, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Nexeon’s UK facility (Courtesy of Nexeon)
Nexeon’s UK facility (Courtesy of Nexeon)

South Korea’s SKC Corp. plans to set up a joint venture with British battery materials maker Nexeon Ltd. for the silicon anode materials market. The move is to achieve SKC’s goal to expand its electric vehicle battery materials business and fivefold its corporate value to 30 trillion won ($25.4 billion) by 2025.

SKC is set to formalize its plan on the JV with Nexeon on Sept. 29, according to investment banking industry sources.

The British company founded in 2006 produces silicon materials incorporated in lithium-ion battery anodes. The company, in which German specialty chemicals maker Wacker Chemie has a stake, has plants in the UK and Japan.

Silicon anode materials are a next-generation materials that allows larger battery capacity and faster charge rate than existing graphite anode materials.

The global silicon anode materials market is expected to grow to 5.5 trillion won in 2025 from 13.3 billion won this year, according to HI Investment & Securities.

SKC, the chemical materials maker of SK Group, on Sept. 24 unveiled plans to generate 80% of profits from mobility materials by 2025.

The move may intensify competition for battery materials business among the group’s affiliates, industry sources said.

Earlier this month, SK Materials Co., the group’s industrial gas manufacturer, announced a plan to jointly invest 850 billion won with US startup Group14 Technologies Inc. to build a battery material plant in South Korea. SK Materials is set to start commercial production of silicon anode materials at the factory in 2022.

Write to Jun-ho Cha at chacha@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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