South Korea’s Posco and Samsung SDI will build and run an cathode plant in Chile by 2021 to supply lithium batteries to Chile, POSCO said in a statement on Sunday.
The Posco and Samsung SDI consortium will jointly invest 57.5 billion won ($54.2 million) to set up a plant to start producing annually about 3,200 tons of cathode materials for electric vehicle batteries in the northern city of Mejillones of Chile from a year starting the second half of 2021.
Beating 12 other companies, the joint consortium also includes China’s Sichuan Fulin Industrial Group and Chile’s Molyment.
The Chile production base will provide Samsung SDI with a stable supply of lithium for EV batteries in the long run, the company said.
Posco is also preparing to expand its battery business by increasing its production capacities at home and abroad.
The global cathode market is growing fast due to increasing global demand for lithiumion batteries for electric vehicles and energy stroage systems. By 2021, the cathode market is expected to quadruple from 210,000 tons to 860,000 tons by 2020.
POSCO said that it had agreed to buy up to 240,000 tons of lithium concentrate per year from Australian miner Pilbara Minerals to secure a stable source of raw materials to manufacture electric vehicle batteries.