POSCO Chemical signs US$33 bln deal to supply cathode materials to Samsung SDI

SEOUL– POSCO Chemical Co. said Monday it has signed a largest-ever long-term contract to supply a key component used in electric vehicle (EV) battery cells to Samsung SDI Co.

POSCO Chemical will supply high-nickel cathodes, consisting of lithium, nickel, cobalt and aluminum, to Samsung SDI, for a 10-year period starting this year for 40 trillion won (US$32.5 billion), the chemical unit of steel giant POSCO Holdings Co. said.

Cathodes are a core component that determine the power of EV battery cells. They account for more than 40 percent of a battery’s production cost.

POSCO Chemical has been expanding its battery materials business since its advance into the sector in 2012. It touts itself as one of a few companies capable of producing both cathodes and anodes for EV batteries.

The latest agreement follows the 13.7 trillion-won cathodes supply deal POSCO Chemical clinched in July last year with Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture between LG Energy Solution Ltd. and General Motors Co.

POSCO Chemical has bagged more than 21 trillion won worth of cathodes supply orders from Ultium Cells.

POSCO Chemical began commercial operations at its cathode plant in South Korea’s southwestern city of Gwangyang, which has an annual production capacity of 90,000 tons.

It plans to complete the construction of its cathode plant in Pohang, a southeastern industrial city in South Korea, within this year and is on track for the completion of a high-nickel cathode plant in Canada next year under its own joint venture with GM.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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