Posco Chemical was close to finishing the third and fourth phases of expansion of its battery cathode plant in Gwangyang, South Korea, TheElec has learned.
Once the expansion is complete, which will be no later than June, the South Korean chemical company’s battery cathode production capacity will increase from the current 30,000 metric tonnes a year to 90,000 metric tonnes a year, sources said.
In phase three and four production lines, Posco Chemical will be producing nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum (NCMA) oxide cathode. The cathode will also have high amounts of nickel.
The company currently produces nickel, cobalt and manganese (NCA) cathodes with around 60% nickel at its existing two production lines at Gwangyang.
The newer NCMA cathodes will be supplied to LG Energy Solution, which will supply battery cells that use the materials to General Motors.
Meanwhile, Posco Chemical also has a precursor production line at Gwangyang. The operation rate of the line is expected to increase with the addition of two new cathode production lines. The move is designed to reduce reliance on imported precursors from China.
Lithium carbonate was used for the exiting two cathode production lines but the two new lines will be using lithium hydroxide. Subsidiary Posco Lithium Solution is planning to operate a lithium hydroxide production line with a capacity of 43,000 metric tonnes per year.