South Korean chemical company Chunbo is planning to expand its electrolyte production.
The key will be expanding quickly to narrow its gap with market leader Dongwha Electrolyte, which has an annual production capacity of 33,000 metric tonnes.
Chunbo is aiming to secure an annual production capacity of 4,000 metric tonnes, by the first half of 2021, TheElec has learned.
Last year, the company had an annual production capacity of 1,840 metric tonnes. Out of that total, 1,460 metric tonnes were for lithium difluorophosphate (LiPO2F2). 400 metric tonnes were for lithium bis(oxalate) borate (LiBOB) and 300 metric tonnes for lithium difluorobis-(oxalato) phosphate (LiDFOP).
After its initial expansion this year, Chunbo is planning to add an additional annual production capacity of 12,000 metric tonnes by 2022. The company will invest 150 billion won for the next five years at an area of 26,000 meter-square at Chungju for this addition. Construction will begin in March.
Chunbo is focused on expanding the production of LiPO2F2 electrolyte. These extend battery life and shorten charging time. It is supplying them to its Japanese rival Central Glass.
Chunbo also supplies them to South Korean battery makers LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation as well as CATL of China. Batteries that use the electrolyte has been applied to BMW i3 and i8, Chevrolet Volt and Volkswagen e-Golf.
Chunbo is also produces electrolyte additives such as TMSB, AN, SN and DPN, which are used for both cathode and anode. Samsung SDI is the main customer for these. The additive prevents swelling and overcharging in batteries.
The South Korean chemical company posted 155.5 billion won in sales and 30.1 billion won in operating income last year, a rise of 14.9% and 10.7%, respectively, from 2019. The company’s earnings will likely increase as its customers are supplying more batteries to automobile companies.