South Korean battery cathode maker EcoPro BM is considering expanding its business in Europe and China, TheElec has learned.
The company is reviewing the matter in light of the trade secret lawsuit LG Energy Solution and SK Innovation, which could negatively impact its earnings.
EcoPro BM currently supplies cathode to SK Innovation, including to the latter’s factory in the state of Georgia in the US.
If ITC’s 10-year import ban against SK Innovation is upheld, this will undoubtedly affect EcoPro BM’s long-term plan.
The cathode maker currently ships around 1,000 metric tonnes of cathode to the factory in Georgia, so the impact from a closure in the short-term will be minimal.
But SK had planned to mass production at the factory in 2022. The factory has a production capacity of around 9.7GWh per year.
EcoPro BM is also aiming for sales of 1 trillion won this year. It had planned to supply in total 45,000 metric tonnes of cathode to Samsung SDI, SK Innovation, Murata and other customers.
The company is hoping to offset a potential shutdown of SK’s factory in the US by supplying more cathodes to the latter’s factories in Europe and China.
SK has a 7.5GWh per year factory in Hungary; it is building another there with a capacity of 9GWh per year. A third factory with a capacity of 10GWh per year is also planned.
SK also has two battery production plants in China.
A EcoPro BM spokesperson stressed that its cathode supply to SK’s factory in Georgia was small, and its supply to China and Hungary will enough to offset potential losses there.
EcoPro BM last year recorded 855.2 billion won in sales and 55.7 billion won in operating income, an increase of 39% and 50%, respectively. The company plans to spend 240 billion won to expand its facilities this year.