LG Chem to invest $5.3B in battery materials by 2025; part of $8.8B investment in new growth engines
LG Chem will invest 6 trillion KRW (US$5.3 billion) in battery materials by 2025, including efforts in anode materials, separation membranes, cathode binders, radiant adhesives, carbon nanotubes, and more, according to LG Chem CEO Hak Cheol Shin. The investment is part of a 10 trillion KRW (US$8.8 billion) investment in new growth engines, also including eco-friendly materials (3 trillion KRW) and new drugs (1 trillion KRW).
LG Chem’s goal is to grow into the world’s largest comprehensive battery materials company having all core battery materials such as separation membranes, cathode binders, and to become Nº 1 in the world for anodes.
Over 30 projects including M&As, joint ventures (JV), strategic investments, etc. to make a paradigm shift to an ESG-based business portfolio are being reviewed. This will be the most revolutionary change since the establishment of the company that will upgrade the value and sustainability of LG Chem, and tangible achievements will become available from the second half of this year.—Hak Cheol Shin
Plans are to commence construction of the Gumi Plant with a 60,000-ton capacity in December for the anode material business with the goal of fostering the company into a global leader. Through this, the anode production capacity of LG Chem will increase by roughly seven-fold from 40,000 tons in 2020 to 260,000 tons by 2026.
A joint venture is being prepared with a mining company for the stable supply of metals that will be used as the raw materials for anode materials. LG Chem will actively pursue cooperation in various ways with companies possessing mining, smelting and refining technologies to strengthen its metal sourcing competitiveness.
For the separation membrane business, LG Chem is reviewing M&As and JVs with companies having marketability such as technologies and clients to quickly enhance business capacities, while also planning to build a global production base as soon as possible.
For products such as anode materials, cathode binders, and radiant adhesives, LG Chem plans to preemptively focus R&D resources to differentiate its technologies and acquire market leadership.
Radiant adhesive connects EV battery modules and enables emitting heat generated in the battery cell to the outside, while also fixing the battery cell against external impact and vibration.
In the battery materials market that is expected to grow quickly from 39 trillion KRW (US$34 billion) in 2021 to 100 trillion KRW (US$87.5 billion) by 2026, it is anticipated that demands for material innovation will strengthen for the sake of improving performance and cutting costs.
In order to keep up with the market forecast for battery materials that are growing at a rapid pace, the company plans to expand the CNT production scale of the Petrochemicals Company from 1,700 tons in 2021 to triple or more by 2025. LG Chem expanded its production capacity by completing the CNT Plant 2 capable of producing 1,200 tons per year to target the anode conductive additive market for lithium-ion batteries in April, while continuously expanding production capacities such as making preparations to start construction of Plant 3 within this year.