Francois-Philippe Champagne and Lee Chang-yang [Source : Ministry of trade, industry and energy]
South Korea and Canada will expand mineral trade to include battery-making sources like nickel and cobalt to ensure battery value chain stays intact under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that restricts U.S. tax credits for electric vehicles to cars assembled as well as with batteries sourced from North America from next year.
Korean trade, industry and energy minister Lee Chang-yang last Friday discussed the measures with visiting Francois-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s minister for innovation and economic development. They agreed to strengthen the two nations’ partnership in supply chains covering key minerals for lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles.
The two sides plan to sign a memorandum of understanding to expand the scope of mineral trade to include key minerals like cobalt and nickel. Bilateral trade on minerals currently has been mostly in soft coal and iron ore.
Meanwhile, export credit agency, the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure), has okayed the financing of 217.5 billion won ($160 million) to Solus Advanced Materials to back its construction of a production facility in Quebec, Canada, on copper foils, a core part for secondary batteries. Export Development Canada (EDC) will also join the financing for the project establishing North America’s first production facility on copper foils. The facility will begin mass-producing copper foils that can go into 540,000 electric vehicles annually starting in the second half of 2024. K-Sure so far has provided financial aid of $1.77 billion for Korean carmakers and battery makers to build overseas production bases.
By Park Dong-hwan and Jenny Lee
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