Posco Chemical has begun construction of its synthetic graphite cathode factory at Pohang, South Korea, on Thursday, the company said.
The company decided to invest 217.7 billion on to build the factory at a board meeting on March 30.
The factory will have an annual production rate of 16,000 metric tonnes __ enough to supply 420,000 electric vehicles running on 60kWh with traveling distances of over 340 kilometers per charge, Posco said.
The Pohang plant is expected to be complete in 2023 to began operations.
Poscho Chairman Choi Jeong-woo, LG Chem CEO Kim Myung-hwan, Posco Chemical CEO Min Kyung-jun were among the hundred that took part in the ground breaking ceremony.
Synthetic graphite is made by heating coke-beds at over 3,000 Celsius. Posco Chemical makes its own coke-bed through subsidiary PMC Tech. The graphite are more expensive than natural graphite and used in high-end batteries.
Previously, most of them were imported from Japan and China.
Posco Chemical will produce high-nickel anode, natural graphite cathode as well as synthetic graphite cathode once the new plant is complete, making it a complete materials provider, the company said.
The company plans to produce 105,000 metric tonnes of natural graphite cathode per year in 2023. It will produce 16,000 metric tonnes of synthetic graphite cathodes and 90,000 metric tonnes of anode materials in the same year, it also said, to increase global market share.