Posco puts focus on secondary battery materials
The company plans to grow the secondary battery material business into a core business comparable to its steel business and is already actively investing in resource development to secure raw materials such as lithium, nickel, and graphite, which are related to the secondary battery material business.
The company has been promoting technology development activities since 2010 to reserve and extract lithium-based materials to strengthen the competitiveness of the secondary battery material business by supplying lithium economically and stably.
The company carried on developing green technology to extract lithium from saltwater and ore as well as securing a lithium mine and a salt lake.
Posco solved the problem regarding supply and demand of materials by receiving a long-term supply of lithium from Australia’s Pilbara Minerals while securing additional lithium material from a salt lake in Argentina.
The company started preparing for commercial production based on Argentina's salt lake, which was preemptively acquired in 2018, in line with the prospect that there will be a shortage of lithium provision worldwide in the future. By successfully operating demo plants near the local salt lake for more than a year, it completed preparations for commercial production with accumulated know-how and highly-skilled manpower.
Posco introduced a differentiated value chain for the secondary battery materials business by launching its new growth engines, Posco Lithium Solution and Posco HY Clean Metal in April and May 2021, respectively.
Posco Lithium Solution had its groundbreaking ceremony for a lithium hydroxide plant in Yulchon industrial complex, Gwangyang last May. The factory is investing 760 billion won in the 196,000㎡ site with the goal of completion by 2023.
It mainly produces lithium hydroxide (LiOH), which is a key material for secondary battery cathode materials. LiOH is widely used as a battery material for electric vehicles since it has an advantage in increasing battery capacity and life compared to lithium carbonate (Li2CO3).
In addition, Posco established a Poland Legnica Sourcing Center (PLSC) corporation in Poland in March of last year that processes waste battery clippings from European secondary battery plants.
BY HAJIN KIM (email@example.com)