SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — POSCO Chemical Co., a South Korean producer of advanced materials, said Wednesday the construction began for a domestic plant to produce a key coating material used in secondary batteries under a joint venture with chemical company OCI Co.
The factory, to be located in the central region of South Chungcheong Province, will annually produce 15,000 tons of pitch, a carbon material used for coating the surfaces of anodes, a key component in rechargeable batteries, the chemical unit of steel giant POSCO Holdings Co. said in a release.
The two companies held the sod-turning ceremony at the construction site Wednesday.
POSCO Chemical signed the 51:49 joint venture with OCI in 2020 to bolster its edge in the advanced materials sector. A total of 96.3 billion won (US$69.2 million) will be spent for the pitch factory, with the construction to be completed by 2023.
The pitch, made through heat treatment of residue obtained by distilling petroleum, has a high softening point that helps improve the charging and discharging efficiency of the battery and enhance the durability.
POSCO Chemical said it hopes its pitch production will contribute to supporting the domestic supply of the material as many South Korean companies rely on imports from China or Germany to secure the material.