LG Chem said on Sept. 23 that it has signed a contract with Umicore of Belgium to receive anode materials. Under the deal, LG Chem will receive a total of 125,000 tons of anode materials from 2020. It can manufacture more than 1 million batteries based on high-performance electric vehicles (EVs, run for 380 kilometers or more).
Umicore is a Belgian-based chemical materials company and is one of the global leaders in the anode materials field. It recorded about 4.3 trillion won in sales last year, with 10,700 executives and employees.
Although LG Chem is currently producing its own anode materials, it is also in need of securing supplies from outside as markets for electric vehicle batteries are rapidly expanding around Europe.
Umicore has the world's best technical skills such as anode material surface processing technology in NCM's anode material field that LG Chem has adopted as a battery for electric vehicles.
It is also operating anode material production plants in South Korea and China, where LG Chem's electric vehicle battery plants are located, and the Polish plant under construction is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
LG Chem will receive anode materials from Umicore's Chinese and Korean plants from 2020, and more than half of its contracts will be supplied directly from Poland from 2021.
To prepare for the rapid growth of the European electric vehicle market, LG Chem is planning to work closely with Umicore to produce large electric vehicle batteries in Europe as it is expanding production capacity of its Polish electric car battery plant from the current 15GWh (at the end of 2018) to more than four times by 2020.
"We have secured a large amount of anode material, which is a key material for batteries, in line with the explosive growth of European electric vehicle battery markets," said President Kim Jong-hyun of LG Chem's battery division.