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LG Chem to set up battery precursor plant with Korea Zinc affiliate

All News 11:32 June 02, 2022

SEOUL, June 2 (Yonhap) -- LG Chem Ltd., a leading chemical company, said Thursday it is building a battery precursor plant in South Korea with a raw battery materials producer in an effort to secure a stable supply of key components for electric vehicle batteries.

The joint venture agreement with Kemco, a nickel sulfate manufacturer backed by nonferrous metal company Korea Zinc Co., commits the two firms to build a precursor and metal recycling plant in the industrial city of Ulsan, about 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul, LG Chem said in a release.

LG Chem will own a 49 percent stake in the joint venture, while the rest will be held by Kemco.

The two companies will invest at least 200 billion won (US$160.2 million) in the project, with an aim to produce 20,000 tons of precursors a year by 2024, LG Chem said.

It will go into commercial operation in the second half of 2024, and the output from the plant will be supplied to LG Chem's cathodes factory in the central region of Cheongju. The projection for 2025 revenue is about 400 billion won.

A precursor is an intermediate compound made from combining battery components like nickel, cobalt and manganese, to produce cathodes that make up a key part of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles.

The new precursor plant will employ a metal recycling process to produce precursors by using metal scraps and recycled metals from dead batteries, LG Chem said.

Kemco has an annual capacity to produce around 80,000 tons of nickel sulfate. It is known for its specialty in extracting key raw battery materials based on Korea Zinc's top-notch smelting technology, according to LG Chem.

LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol (R) shakes hands with Kemco President and CEO Choi James Soung, after signing a joint venture agreement on building a precursor plant in South Korea, in this photo provided by LG Chem on June 2, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol (R) shakes hands with Kemco President and CEO Choi James Soung, after signing a joint venture agreement on building a precursor plant in South Korea, in this photo provided by LG Chem on June 2, 2022. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

elly@yna.co.kr
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