POSCO new anode material production plant breaks ground

POSCO Chemical has begun to localize the core materials for batteries that were dependent on imports.

On the 2nd, POSCO Chemical announced that it had a groundbreaking ceremony for an artificial graphite anode material production plant in Donghae-myeon, Pohang-si, Gyeongbuk, South Korea. It has been three months since the company decided to invest 21.7 billion won ($18.2 million) through the resolution of the board of directors on March 30. The facility’s capacity will be 16,000 tons/year. It is a quantity that can be supplied to about 420,000 units of high-performance electric vehicles (with 60kWh battery packs, allowing for 340 km or more when traveling on a single charge). The goal is to start construction this year and complete in 2023.

More than 100 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony, including Chairman Jeong-Woo Choi, POSCO Chairman, Myung-Hwan Kim, President of LG Chem, Lee Cheol-Woo, Gyeongbuk Branch, and Min Kyung-Jun, President of POSCO Chemical.

Artificial graphite is made by heating needle coke to 3000 degrees celcius. POSCO Chemical also produces needle coke, a raw material for artificial graphite, through its subsidiary PMC Tech. It is used in high-end batteries and imported mostly by Japan and China.

POSCO Chemical expanded its portfolio from high-nickel anode materials and natural graphite anode materials to artificial graphite anode materials, strengthening its market position as a global battery materials manufacturer.

President Choi Jeong-woo said, “We are mass-producing materials that were essential for localization ahead of the advent of the electric vehicle era.” 

POSCO Chemical plans to increase its global market share by continuously expanding investments in capacity to expand to 105,000 tons of natural graphite-based anode materials, 16,000 tons of artificial graphite-based materials, and 90,000 tons of cathode materials by 2023.