LG Chem ascends to No. 1 in EV battery market, addresses deadly gas leak in India

2020.05.08 10:29:14 | 2020.05.08 16:10:02

[Photo provided by LG Chem Ltd.]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by LG Chem Ltd.]

South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. vowed to accelerate its innovation push into science as it celebrated its ascension to No. 1 in the global electric vehicle battery market, although news of a gas leak at its Indian factory put a dent on its reputation.

The Korean chemical company commanded a 27.1 percent share in the global EV battery market in the first quarter, up from 10.7 percent a year earlier, according to energy market tracker SNE Research Thursday.

SNE Research attributed the results to strong sales of Tesla Model 3 and Audi e-tron EVs, which are powered by LG Chem batteries.

Long-time leader Panasonic fell behind with a market share of 25.7 percent, followed by China’s CATL with 17.4 percent.

LG Chem celebrated the event by unveiling a new corporate vision in 14 years, stretching its identity beyond petrochemicals to science.

이미지 확대
In an online ceremony addressed to the entire staff on Thursday, Chief Executive Shin Hak-cheol proclaimed the company’s new vision “We connect science to life for a better future.”

“As we enter the era of the fourth industrial revolution, it is time we upgrade our business model and integrate with new sectors by harnessing digital technologies like artificial intelligence and big data to deliver value that exceeds our customer expectations.”

“This new vision marks a milestone in our ambitions to become a truly global company,” he added.

[Photo provided by LG Chem Ltd.]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by LG Chem Ltd.]

LG Chem has been broadening its petrochemical-focused portfolio by investing aggressively in batteries, new materials and life science, with non-petrochemical divisions accounting for 48 percent of the company’s total sales in the first quarter.

News of a deadly gas leak, however, spoiled the company’s celebratory moment.

One of its chemical plants in India reported a gas leak early Thursday, killing at least 11 and hospitalizing about 1,000 people.

LG Chem, in a statement after the accident, said “the leak is now under control” and that it is seeking “all possible measures to provide rapid medical treatment” as the emitted gas can cause nausea and dizziness when inhaled.

LG Chem shares fell 0.42 percent to close Friday at 352,500 won ($288).

By Won Ho-sup and Kim Hyo-jin

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