Three battery companies to form research fund in 2019

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Three battery companies to form research fund in 2019

Korea’s three major battery makers announced Monday that they will create a 100 billion won ($88.04 million) fund to promote the development of the country’s rechargeable battery industry.

During an event held at the Westin Chosun Hotel in central Seoul and attended by Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Sung Yun-mo, LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to jointly create a fund to acquire next-generation battery technology and support promising rechargeable battery companies.

The fund is set to be established by the three companies in the first quarter of next year.

“The rechargeable battery market is a new high-growth industry that will exceed that of memory semiconductors,” said Minister Sung.

“With today’s MOU, I am hoping for the formation of second and third battery funds and that the funds become the foundation that helps place our country in the leading position in the battery and electric car markets,” he added.

Demand has been rising for lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars and energy storage systems. According to a report last year by the Korea Energy Economics Institute, lithium-ion batteries usage for electric cars has risen 76 percent annually since 2012.

The battery makers also signed a separate agreement to create a planning committee for battery technology and jointly invest in next-generation battery research and development.

During the meeting, the government said that it will actively support investment into new technologies by battery companies.

The government also requested that the companies create jobs and train experts to work with the new technologies.


BY CHAE YUN-HWAN [chae.yunhwan@joongang.co.kr]

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