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Comment Business & Economics

LG Chem and B&M to establish JV to produce cathode material

By Gerald Ondrey |

LG Chem Ltd. (Seoul, South Korea) today announced a joint venture (JV) with Tianjin B&M Science and Technology (B&M), a subsidiary of China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt (Huayou Cobalt) that specializes in cathode materials, a key component in battery manufacturing. LG Chem signed the joint venture agreement with B&M at LG Twin Towers in Seoul, attended by key stakeholders including LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol, Huayou Cobalt chairman Chen Xuehua, vice president Chen Yaozhong and other officials.

“The establishment of the joint venture further cements our vertical integration system with key raw materials to produce affordable, high quality cathode materials,” said Mr. Shin of LG Chem. “We will continue to strengthen our efforts to supply best-in-class battery materials to our customers.”

“This partnership is another critical step in the expansion of B&M’s cathode business in the global market, a key component of our metal supply strategy,” said Mr. Chin of Huayou Cobalt. “The combination of LG Chem’s competitive technological edge and dominant market share with the strong value chain capability of Huayou Cobalt will contribute greatly to advancing the global lithium battery sector.”

B&M’s capital investment in LG Chem’s Gumi cathode production plant will result in a 49% stake in the JV with the remaining 51% to be held by LG Chem. Both partners have committed KRW500 billion (approx. $403 million) toward the initiative by 2025. The JV will be led by Kim Woosung, current president of LG Chem’s Gumi site.

With an intense focus on manufacturing NCMA (nickel, cobalt, manganese, aluminum) cathode materials for next-generation electric vehicle (EV) batteries, LG Chem plans to begin initial mass production at Gumi in the second half of 2024. The annual production capacity of 60,000 tons will be enough to power approximately 500,000 high-performance EVs, each with a driving range of 500 km.

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