LG Chem, Kemco form EV battery materials recycling JV

South Korea’s LG Chem said it had agreed to create a new joint venture with Kemco, a subsidiary of Korea Zinc Company, which is committed to recycling precursor materials to provide a stable supply of battery components for electric vehicles (EV).

The two companies plan to spend more than KRW200bn (US$159 million) on a plant with an annual production capacity of 20,000 tons of recycled raw materials for EV battery cathodes and anodes.

The facility will focus on processing nickel sulfate for next-generation NCMA batteries (nickel, cobalt, manganese, aluminum) for EVs.

The plant, which will be 51% owned by Kemco and 49% by LG Chem, is expected to be completed in 2024 at the Onsan Industrial Complex in Ulsan to supply the nearby LG Chem Cheongju Cathode Materials plant.

LG Chem, part of the LG Group that also includes the world’s second largest producer of EV batteries, LG Energy Solution, said the joint venture would provide a stable supply of high-quality nickel sulfate processed from recycled materials purchased by Kemco. The company said Kemco was already a leading producer of nickel sulfate with a production capacity of 80,000 tons per year.

Hak Cheol Shin, CEO of LG Chem, said in a statement: “This joint venture makes a lot of sense as it strengthens our platform to become the world’s best comprehensive battery materials company. We will achieve sustained growth in the environmentally friendly battery materials industry through bold investments and collaboration.”

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