The US’ sanction on Chinese products, implementing 'Inflation Reduction Act'
LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, SK On collaborate with domestic material companies
Actively attempting to localize the
The domestic battery industries have started to de-Sinicization battery materials. This is because the US sanctions on Chinese products are becoming more materialized. In 2024, the US will implement the Inflation Reduction Act, which will reduce the proportion of Chinese batteries and semiconductors, and exclude them from the global supply chain. This forecasts localization of domestic products of the four core materials, such as anode materials, anode materials, electrolytes, and separators that relied on Chinese products.
LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, and SK On are collaborating with domestic battery material companies to replace Chinese materials for EV batteries with domestic products. The domestic battery raw materials will be applied for EV batteries instead of those of Chinese products.
EcoProBM and POSCO Chemical will develop their own raw materials to produce cathode and anode active materials.
After manufacturing and processing precursors through EcoPro BM, a precursor production affiliate of EcoProBM, it will manufacture cathode materials and supply them to Samsung SDI and SK On. Precursors are a basic raw material for cathode materials that are being imported from China, which accounts for more than 90% of the production. EcoPro Materials will expand its precursor production capacity from the current 50,000 to more than 200,000 tons by 2024 in response to the US restrictions on the use of Chinese precursors. EcoPro Material is also promoting to build a precursor production plant in North America in line with the move to build a battery supply chain in the United States. In the mid-long term, EcoPro plans to invest KRW 1.7 trillion in the precursor business.
POSCO Chemical is also applying its own precursors in cathode materials. It plans to gradually expand its precursor production capacity to 220,000 tons in 2025 and 440,000 tons in 2030. It confirmed the construction of a precursor production plant. POSCO Chemical manufactures its own graphite anode materials and supplies them. It supplies natural graphite anode materials to LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, and SK On. Artificial graphite is also expected to be mass-produced in the near future. POSCO is under review to produce artificial graphite in the US. As much as 90% of the artificial graphite is produced in China, and POSCO is the only Korean company that plans to build artificial graphite in the US.
Localization of electrolyte and separator materials is active. Enchem, Korea's leading electrolyte company, plans to build not only an electrolyte plant but also a raw material plant such as electrolyte solvent and lithium salt in the United States. LG Energy Solution and SK are already supplying electrolyte to the US from their US plants. As for the separation membrane, SK IE Technology is reviewing to construct a wet separation membrane plant in the United States. Enerever Battery Solutions plans to supply dry separators to the US, and It will be the first Korean company to supply dry separators.
Since LG Energy Solution, Samsung SDI, and SK On have built battery plants in the US and have the world's largest production capacity, it is trivial to replace major battery materials. However, the use of Korean battery materials is expected to increase in the future due to the US sanction on the use of Chinese materials.
By Staff Reporter Jiwoong Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)