SEOUL, Dec. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean battery makers are jumping into recycling electric vehicle (EV) batteries as the prices of the metals used in the batteries are on the rise.
LG Chem Ltd., South Korea’s largest chemical company, and its subsidiary LG Energy Solution Ltd. recently invested a combined 60 billion won (US$50 million) in Li-Cycle, a Canadian lithium-ion battery recycling company.
Starting in 2030, Li-Cycle will supply nickel extracted from old EV batteries to the two companies for 10 years.
Refinery-to-battery giant SK Innovation Co. recently added an executive position for its new Battery Metal Recycling (BMR) business.
The company has also developed a new process to recover lithium hydroxide from the battery’s old cathode material, which is currently awaiting commercialization.
SK On, the new battery spinoff of SK Innovation Co., signed an agreement with the Korea Testing Laboratory in October to set up performance test systems for old EV batteries.
Another battery producer Samsung SDI Co. has also invested in PMGrow, a local battery recycling firm.
The “big 3” battery makers in South Korea are also pushing to upcycle old EV batteries into an energy storage system (ESS).
The Korea Energy Economics Institute estimated that the number of old EV batteries in the country will grow from 440 this year to 8,300 by 2025 and 79,000 by 2029.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)