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POSCO Future M expands investment in battery materials in Pohang to build precursor and anode material plant
2023.05.03
- The company signed MOU with Huayou Cobalt, Gyeongsangbuk-do, and Pohang City to invest KRW 1.7 trillion in battery materials
- It plans to build a precursor and nickel raw material production plant to create a cathode material value chain cluster
- Contributing to strengthening the competitiveness of the Korean battery industry by investing in the integration of anode material production capacity

POSCO Future M will invest a total of KRW 1.7 trillion in Pohang to expand the production capacity of precursors for cathode materials and anode materials.

POSCO Future M signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Huayou Cobalt, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, and Pohang City on the 3rd of this month to invest in expanding its production capacity for precursors, which are intermediate materials for cathode materials, as well as anode materials. The signing ceremony was attended by Kim Jun-hyung, President of POSCO Future M, Chen Xuehua, Chairman of Huayou Cobalt, Lee Dal-hee, Vice Governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do, Lee Kang-deok, Mayor of Pohang, and more.

According to the MOU, POSCO Future M will establish a joint venture with Huayou Cobalt, the world's largest cobalt producer, and invest approximately KRW 1.2 trillion to build a production line for precursors, which are intermediate materials for cathode materials for batteries, as well as high-purity nickel materials. The plant will be built on a 267,702m² site in Pohang's Blue Valley Industrial Complex by 2027.

Precursors are intermediate materials for cathode materials, which are manufactured by processing raw materials such as nickel, cobalt, and manganese. However, its share of its domestic production is only about 13%, so expanding domestic production capacity is essential to strengthening the competitiveness of K-batteries (Korean batteries. Nickel, which determines the energy storage density of a battery, is also the most used precursor material, so its internalization is important.

By investing in nickel and precursors in partnership with Huayou Cobalt, which has strength in sourcing raw materials, POSCO Future M plans to complete a nickel, precursor, and cathode value chain cluster linked to the 106,000-ton-per-year cathode production base currently under construction in the Yeongil Bay General Industrial Complex in Pohang. This is expected to enable the company to secure high-quality raw materials at competitive prices and further enhance the profitability of its battery materials business.

POSCO Future M, which plans to expand its global annual production capacity of cathode materials from 105,000 tons to 610,000 tons by 2030, will also expand its annual production capacity of precursors from 15,000 tons to 440,000 tons, increasing the proportion of precursors produced in-house from 14% to 73%.

In addition, the company will invest about 500 billion won to build an additional anode material production plant in Pohang. The company plans to build the plant on a 199,720㎡ site in Pohang's Blue Valley Industrial Complex by 2025.

The anode material is a key material that determines the lifespan and charging performance of batteries, and POSCO Future M is the only company in Korea to mass-produce graphite-based anode material, contributing to strengthening the competitiveness of the K-battery industry.

POSCO Future M currently produces 74,000 tons of natural graphite in Sejong and 8,000 tons of artificial graphite anode materials in Pohang. It plans to expand its production capacity of anode materials to 320,000 tons by 2030 in response to the increasing demand for anode materials due to the growing electric vehicle market.

In addition, the company will continue to invest in R&D for material technology in line with the increasing performance of electric vehicles, diversifying its portfolio to include not only graphite but also lithium metal anode materials for silicon and all-solid-state batteries, which are needed to improve charging performance.

"As a producer of both cathode and anode materials, which are the core materials for batteries, we will proactively respond to customer requests to reorganize the supply chain by region by advancing the full value chain from raw materials to final product production," said Kim Jun-hyung, President of POSCO Future M. "We will continue to expand our investment in battery materials in Pohang City, which is leading the battery industry ecosystem, thereby contributing to the development of the K-battery industry."
  • (Photo 1) POSCO Future M signed an MOU with Huayou Cobalt, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, and Pohang City on the 3rd of this month to invest in the secondary battery material business. (From left) Park Yong-sun, vice chairman of the Gyeongsangbuk-do Provincial Council; Lee Dal-hee, vice governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do; Kim Jun-hyung, president of POSCO Future M; Chen Xuehua, chairman of Huayou Cobalt; Lee Kang-deok, mayor of Pohang; and Baek In-gyu, chairman of Pohang City Council.
  • (Photo 2) POSCO Future M signed an MOU with Huayou Cobalt, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, and Pohang City on the 3rd of this month to invest in expanding the production capacity for precursors and anode materials. (From the third from left) Gyeongsangbuk-do Vice Governor Lee Dal-hee, POSCO Future M President Kim Jun-hyung, Huayou Cobalt Chairman Chen Xuehua, Pohang Mayor Lee Kang-deok, and Pohang City Council Chairman Baek In-gyu.
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