SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — POSCO Group, South Korea’s top steelmaking group, on Friday broke ground for a plant that refines high-purity nickel to be used for electric vehicle batteries in a move to further solidify its secondary battery material business.
The facility with an annual production of 20,000 tons of high-purity nickel, a core chemical used in making cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, will be built by 2023 at its main steel mill in the southwestern city of Gwangyang, about 300 kilometers south of Seoul.
The annual production is enough to produce 500,000 electric vehicles, according to POSCO.
Once the new plant is completed, POSCO will turn nickel matte products into nickel with a purity of 99.9 percent.
SNNC, a joint venture between POSCO and New Caledonia’s largest nickel producer SMSP, will provide the nickel matte product to POSCO.
The high purity nickel refined at the new facility will be provided to POSCO’s EV battery material producer POSCO Chemical Co., according to POSCO.
POSCO has been racing to diversify its business portfolio by beefing up EV materials business with an aim to log 41 trillion won (US$28.7 billion) in sales from the sector by 2030.