Anode materials mass produced by Posco Chemtech. [Photo provided b Posco Chemtech Co. ]
Posco Chemtech Co., a refractory and secondary battery anode making subsidiary under South Korea’s steel giant Posco, plans to ramp up its anode capacity to 59,000 tons a year to gain a leading position in the rapidly burgeoning electric vehicle battery market.
According to industry sources on Tuesday, Posco Chemtech will build its second anode plant in Sejong city on a site of about 50,000 square meters, equivalent to seven soccer fields. Official construction is expected to start in the third quarter of next year.
The new plant is anticipated to produce up to additional 35,000 tons of anode material a year. The actual amount of investment has not been disclosed but it is estimated to be around 200 billion won ($180 million).
Posco Chemtech had already boosted the annual capacity of its first anode plant earlier this year to 16,000 tons and plans to add two more lines to up the plant’s capacity to 24,000 tons in October.
With the completion of the second plant, the company’s total annual anode capacity would be bumped up to 59,000 tons, enough to produce about 2 million 30-kilowatt EV batteries.
Anode material is one of the four key components of lithium-ion batteries, along with cathode, electrolyte and separator. The industry players at home and abroad are aggressively expanding anode production to meet growing demand for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries amid increasing popularity of electric vehicles.
“Anode material makes up only 5 percent of our total sales but this will grow in the future,” said a Posco Chemtech official. “We’re accelerating our efforts to lead the secondary battery market.”
Shares of Posco Chemtech closed Wednesday up 6.95 percent at 43,100 won.
By Woo Je-yoon and Kim Hyo-jin
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