Korean steel-making giant, Posco is set to build a nickel refinery to produce high-purity nickel for secondary batteries as demand for electric vehicles (EVs) continue to increase.
Nickel matte—nickel iron sulfide with a purity of 75pc will be refined at the new plant to produce nickel with 99pc purity.
The company targets annual production of 20,000mt of nickel sulphate by 2023, which will be able to power 500,000 electric vehicles. Posco is aiming to produce 100,000mt of nickel by 2030.
The steelmaker has invested KRW230bn (40.20bn) to build the refinery located in the southern part of Gwangyang, near SNNC, a Posco-affiliated nickel supplier which the steelmaker jointly operates with SMSP, the largest nickel ore exporter on the French Pacific island territory of New Caledonia.
Posco estimated a severe shortage of high-purity nickel by 2025, as the annual global demand for nickel sulphate is expected to increase by 23pc, annually.