ILJIN Materials Plans to Extend Its Current Facilities for Elecfoil in Order to Target Electric Vehicle Markets

Jul 12, 2017

ILJIN Materials is planning to greatly increase output of elecfoil, which is an important material for secondary batteries, by investing $104 million (120 billion KRW). It is looking to dominate global markets once more as this is its strategy to prepare for markets for electric vehicles.
According to industries on the 11th, ILJIN Materials has decided to invest $104 million (120 billion KRW) into constructing a new factory for elecfoil. Through this new factory, it is planning to increase its current yearly production capacity, which is 14,000 tons, up to 24,000 tons. It is going to finish investments by first half of next year.
Detailed information regarding where this new factory is going to be constructed has not been confirmed yet. However because stable electricity supply and manufacturing infrastructures are important for elecfoil, it is likely that Iksan is the likely candidate since it is where ILJIN Materials headquarters and factories are located.
Mayor Jung Heon-yool of Iksan visited ILJIN Group’s headquarters, which is in Mapo, in last April and had a meeting with Chairman Huh Chin-kyu and requested investments into Iksan.
In order to raise funds for investments, ILJIN Materials has decided on recapitalization worth $139 million (160 billion KRW). $104 million (120 billion KRW) will be used for facilities while $34.8 million (40 billion KRW) will be used for operation.
Elecfoil is a thin copper foil that is made by electrolyzing copper sulfate solution. It is an important material that cannot be left out when manufacturing secondary batteries and plays a role of a current collector that forms cathode from a battery. Battery cannot exist without cathode and anode.
Number of demands for elecfoil increases as number of secondary batteries, which are used repeatedly by being recharged many times, increases. ILJIN Materials’ investment for extension of its elecfoil lines targets electric vehicles.
“Because number of demands for secondary batteries for electric vehicles increased rapidly recently, we have decided to extend our current facilities.” said a representative for ILJIN Materials. “We are planning to maintain premium growth through preemptive facility investments.”

Elecfoil produced by ILJIN Materials <Elecfoil produced by ILJIN Materials>

ILJIN Materials is the top business in global elecfoil markets for secondary batteries. After succeeding in developing its own technologies in 1997, it has grown rapidly as industries for small and medium secondary batteries have developed at the same time as when South Korean cellphone industries were developing. It became the top business based on production capacity around 2010.
It seems that ILJIN Materials has grabbed opportunities to launch again due to electric vehicle industries.
Electric vehicles use secondary batteries, which are used repeatedly by being recharged many times, as electric power. Although they are same secondary batteries, their capacities are hundreds times or even thousands times higher compared to small batteries. This indicates that demands for elecfoil will increase rapidly as demands for secondary batteries for electric vehicles increase. Actually while 3g of elecfoil is used for a Smartphone, 15kg of elecfoil is used for an electric vehicle. This means that 5,000 times more of elecfoil is used for single electric vehicle compared to single Smartphone.
Some of customers of ILJIN Materials are Samsung SDI, BYD, LG Chemicals, and Panasonic, which are all top secondary battery manufacturers in the world. ILJIN Materials prepared huge groundwork for electric vehicle markets by securing BYD, which is a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer, as its new customers at the end of 2015. It was also approved of its technologies by Tesla and Panasonic during second half of last year and is waiting to supply its products to Tesla. It made $347 million (399 billion KRW) and $25.2 million (29 billion KRW) in sales and operating profit respectively from last year.
Major technology of elecfoil is to maintain electric properties while having very thin and even surface. ILJIN Materials finally succeeded in developing its own technology after going through 20,000 trials and errors between 1984 and 1997. ILJIN Materials’ elecfoil manufacturing technology was selected as ‘one of South Korea’s 100 technologies for 20th century’ in 1999.
Staff Reporter Yoon, Keonil | benyun@etnews.com

■ILJIN Materials’ investment plan
▲Investment for facility ΔPurpose: Extension of new line for elecfoil for secondary batteries ΔOrder of priority: 1 ΔAmount of investment: $104 million (120 billion KRW) ΔTime of use: Second half of 2017 to first half of 2018
▲Investment for operation ΔPurpose: Fund for operating business for elecfoil for secondary batteries ΔOrder of priority: 2 ΔAmount of investment: $33.4 million (38.44 billion KRW) ΔTime of use: Starting from second half of 2017
Reference: ILJIN Materials <■ILJIN Materials’ investment plan ▲Investment for facility ΔPurpose: Extension of new line for elecfoil for secondary batteries ΔOrder of priority: 1 ΔAmount of investment: $104 million (120 billion KRW) ΔTime of use: Second half of 2017 to first half of 2018 ▲Investment for operation ΔPurpose: Fund for operating business for elecfoil for secondary batteries ΔOrder of priority: 2 ΔAmount of investment: $33.4 million (38.44 billion KRW) ΔTime of use: Starting from second half of 2017 Reference: ILJIN Materials>

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