LG Electronics is planning to expand its battery separator coating business, TheElec has learned.
The company’s Business Solution division is planning to expand researchers in the area.
It will likely attempt to expand separator supply to sister company LG Energy Solution.
It has previously used LG Energy Solution’s coating technology. However, LG Electronics is likely attempting to develop technology in the sector of its own, people familiar with the matter said.
Battery separators are currently in high demand and LG Electronics is preparing to capitalize on this as well as upcoming next-generation batteries, they said.
Currently, LG Energy Solution outsources the coating of its battery separators to LG Electronics and Toray.
Chinese companies Semcorp and Senior suppies the bar film, and LG Electronics and Toray would coat them. Then they are supplied to LG Energy Solution.
LG Electronics’ Business Solution division recorded 6 trillion won in sales last year, with 4.2 trillion won coming from sales of IT device such as monitors and PCs to businesses.
The remaining 1.7 trillion won comes from solar cells, separator coating and other ventures.
Expanded battery production in the second half of 2020 led to high demand for coated separators, the people said. LG Electronics needed to offer enough production capacity to handle the bare films provided by LG Energy Solution’s suppliers, but failed to do so, they said.
Toray is also looking to expand its separator coating capacity in South Korea. Its subsidiary in South Korea, called Toray Battery Separator Film (Toray BSF), currently coats separators at its Gumi. It is planning to buy land at Ochang, where LG Energy Solution has a battery factory, to build another separator coating factory.
LG Electronics’ move is also likely a reaction to LG Energy Solution’s potential patent lawsuit with SK Innovation, another person familiar with the matter said.