[Photo provided by Posco Chemical Co.]
South Korea’s Posco Chemical Co. will provide anodes, a key material for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, to Ultium Cells in the United States to power GM EVs.
The battery material manufacturer under the nation’s steel giant Posco announced Monday that it signed a deal to supply anodes to Ultium Cells, a joint venture between LG Energy Solution and General Motors. The company is also a supplier of cathodes, another core material for EV batteries, for the company.
Anodes are produced either from natural graphite or artificial graphite. Natural graphite anodes provide high storage capacity but short battery life due to the risk of swelling, while artificial graphite anodes stand out for high stability and longer battery life but are expensive to produce. Natural graphite is mostly used for batteries for IT devices, and artificial graphite for EVs.
Posco Chemical manufactures anodes from natural graphite to lower cost, but it applies artificial graphite structure to ensure longer battery life and rapid charging, according to sources.
The material will be used for GM’s EV platform Ultium starting 2022. Posco Chemical is the world’s fourth biggest anodes supplier by commanding 11 percent in the market, following China’s BTR, Shanshan and Zichen.
The company will produce the material at its anode factory in Sejong. It will expand the supply to domestic and international battery makers.
Posco Chemical aims to achieve annual capacity of 400,000 tons for cathodes and 260,000 tons for anodes by 2030 to generate 23 trillion won ($20.5 billion) in sales and account for 20 percent in the global market.
On Tuesday, shares of Posco Chemical fell 1.85 percent to end at 159,500 won.
By Noh Hyun and Choi Mira
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