Posco Chemical has begun the review to commence more investment into its anode material production plant, TheElec confirmed on Friday.
The company is expected to wrap up the discussion and give the go-ahead to invest in adding new factory lines at anode-producing plant at Gwangyang in the third quarter.
Posco held the inauguration ceremony for Factory 2 there in May.
The South Korean chemical giant has announced more investment into its cathode material factory three months after its inauguration ceremony back in November, and the schedule for the anode material factory will likely be similarly handled.
The additional investment will be spend to make new lines with production capacity of 25,000 to 30,000 metric tonnes of anode materials per year.
This will give its Gwangyang plant an annual output of 60,000 metric tonnes of anode material. The plant is designed to handle expansion for up to 90,000 metric tonnes.
Given rival EcoPro BM invested 180 billion won to secure an additional production capacity of 26,000 metric tonnes for its anode material plant, and Posco’s investment volume will likely match this.
Posco’s new factory will likely have three lines to secure an output of up to 30,000 metric tonnes as most equipment for precursors and incineration are standardized in size.
Anode material made with over 80% nickel will be made at the new factory. Posco recently finished development of NCMA, or nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum, anode materials.
NCMA will replace its current mainstay NCM622 (nickel, cobalt and manganese mixed in 6 to 2 to 2 ratio).
NCMA and N8X (Posco’s own brand for 80% nickel) will likely be the two main products the company produces going forward.
NCMA anode material is used by US car giant General Motors for its Ultium electric vehicle (EV) platform. South Korean battery giant LG Chem is supplying the batteries for the platform.
In January, Posco signed a three-year, 1.853 trillion won deal with LG Chem to supply anode materials.
Conventional anode material factories take a year and six months to begin construction, get client approval and increase output. Posco will need to begin its investment within the second half of 2020 to meet LG’s delivery schedule.