Hanwha vice chairman Kim Dong-kwan orders focus on profitable businesses
Hanwha Momentum, the battery equipment-making subsidiary of Hanwha Corporation, was asked by SK On to make compensations for the fire that happened at the latter’s battery factory in the US, TheElec has learned.
The fire at SK On’s factory in the US started at the formation process part of the production line. The cause of the fire is thought to have been faulty batteries being mixed in with those in production during the formation process through logistics machines.
Hanwha was the supplier of the logistics machines used in the factory in Georgia.
The incident caused a rift between SK and Hanwha. SK, along with Samsung, had been a key customer for Hanwha in battery production equipment. But now Hanwha is looking to increase its collaboration with LG.
Hanwha reorganized its battery equipment business following the incident. There was an executive reshuffle and the business was renamed Hanwha Momentum.
Hanwha Solution Ryu Doo-hyung was also named president of the battery equipment unit.
Following this reorganization, Hanwha vice chairman Kim Dong-kwan also ordered the unit to reorganize its product lineup to those that are profitable and where Hanwha’s existing expertise can shine.
This meant that Hanwha Momentum would focus on kilns used to mix cathode materials and equipment involved in the electrode process during battery production.
In January, Hanwha announced that it was building an alliance in energy storage systems, production lines, and equipment involving batteries with LG. The pair would invest together in battery production facilities, they said.
LG Energy Solution is building battery factories in North America through various partnerships with car makers General Motors, Stellantis, and Honda.
It is also investing in its own factories in South Korea, Poland, and Michigan in the US.
Hanwha had not supplied battery production equipment so far to LG Energy Solution ever.
This will cause SK On to further avoid Hanwha as a production equipment supplier as it usually doesn’t share suppliers with rival LG Energy Solution.
Hanwha had also failed to win an order from BlueOval SK, the joint venture between SK On and Ford, for electrode equipment.
The bidding process lasted from September to January and PNT eventually won the 221.7 billion won deal.
PNT has a dispute with Hanwha over alleged technology theft. PNT has claimed Hanwha hired its ex-employees who leaked sensitive trade secrets.