South Korean steelmaker Posco Group’s affiliate Posco Chemicals, has expanded its cathode production capacity to 30,000mt from 5,000mt at Gwangyang plant. The capacity will subsequently be raised to 90,000mt. The plant is located 420 km to the southwest of Seoul. High nickel cathodes form a key component for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
These cathodes will be supplied to EV battery plants in South Korea, Europe, China, and the US, according to local media reports.
The EV battery market is picking up as global auto manufacturers are shifting to electric vehicles as greener alternatives.
Earlier, Posco Chemicals had signed a deal with South Korean battery maker LG Chem to supply KRW1.85tn ($1.59bn) worth of cathodes having high nickel, cobalt, and manganese for three years. The deal was signed in Jan 2020. The material could be enough to produce 1mn battery units for electric vehicles.
Cathodes constitute 40pc of the production cost for lithium-ion batteries. Around 2kg of cathodes are used to make 1kwh EV battery. A high nickel percentage in lithium-ion batteries increases its efficiency. High nickel cathodes are expected to take up 70pc global output of cathodes, as per experts.