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May 24, 2024

Posco Future M breaks ground on cathode plant in Gwangyang

PUBLISHED : February 23, 2024 - 09:13

UPDATED : February 23, 2024 - 09:13

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Kim Jun-hyung (fifth from left), representative of Posco Future M, and company officials pose for a photo during the groundbreaking ceremony for a new high-nickel cathode plant in Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province, Thursday. (Posco Future M)

GWANGYANG, South Jeolla Province -- Posco Future M on Thursday held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new high-nickel cathode plant in Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province, maintaining the company’s continued investment in battery materials for electric vehicles despite the slowdown in the global EV transformation.

The new high-nickel cathode plant, which expects to have an annual production capacity of 52,500 tons, is slated to complete its construction in the first half of 2025. According to Posco, the yearly high-nickel cathode production will be enough to supply batteries that can power 580,000 EVs.

The entire cathode production from the Gwangyang site will be delivered to Samsung SDI.

”Despite the unpredictable business environment, we will respond to the growth of the EV market without a hitch by expanding the production of NCA cathodes, a high-value product,” said Kim Jun-hyung, representative director of Posco Future M.

As the high-nickel cathode, which is made from nickel, cobalt and aluminum, has a high energy density and output, its demand has recently increased.

In order to meet the growing demand, Posco Future M began producing high-nickel NCA cathode materials at the existing Gwangyang factory in April last year. The company also broke ground on a high-nickel cathode plant in Pohang in April last year. The Pohang facility, with an annual production capacity of 30,000 tons, is on track to be completed at the end of this year.

Once the new Gwangyang plant is fully up and running, Posco Future M will have a total production capacity of 82,500 tons of high-nickel NCA cathodes per year. The company plans to expand the production of single-crystal cathodes, which can enhance a battery’s heat stability and lifespan by combining the materials into one structure. The demand for single-crystal cathodes has also been on the rise along with the advancement in high-performance EVs.

“We will take a leap into becoming a global top-tier battery materials company to open up the future of Posco Group’s eco-friendly energy materials business," Kim said.

By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)

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