South Korea’s EcoPro BM is building a full-fledged battery lineup running the full spectrum from cathode production to recycling by the third quarter of 2021, according to the company during its first quarter earnings report on April 22.
For this goal, the firm is to invest in related facilities in Pohang – the southern region of Korea –with partners up until the third quarter of 2021. EcoPro EM, the joint venture it created with Samsung SDI, will see investment from Samsung in May this year in the amount of around KRW 48 billion for a 40% stake. Samsung SDI will also buy into the CAM6 line, known as the Samsung SDI line.
Meanwhile, investment in the CAM5-N, the exclusive line for supplying SK Innovation, is scheduled to be completed by the second quarter.
EcoPro BM will handle mostly cathode production, while EcoPro GEM produces precursors. EcoPro Innovation produces lithium, EcoPro AP high-purity oxygen and nitrogen, while EcoPro CnG recycles used batteries.
The total volume of investment has yet to be revealed, but a total of KRW 163.5 billion is to be used for purchasing the land needed for building facilities for EcoPro GEM, EcoPro Innovation and EcoPro CnG.
Overseas joint ventures are also to be pursued as planned; EcoPro is creating a precursor production facility in Fuan of China with Fuan GEM in aim to create high-nickel cathode.
Regarding second quarter projections, EcoPro BM CEO Kim Byung-hoon said he expects the company to post sales of up to KRW 180 billion on EV battery cathode.
In the first quarter of 2019, EcoPro BM logged sales of KRW 167.7 billion to reflect a 7% decline on-year, while its operating profit fell 39%. On-quarter, the figures rose 14% and 441%, respectively.
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