South Korea’s EcoPro BM will be doubling its production of battery cathode this year to 59,000 tons, up from the 29,000 tons in 2019, according to the company on Feb. 7.
In a fourth earnings report on this day, EcoPro BM said thanks to growing demand for EV battery cathode from battery maker SK Innovation, it would have to increase its supplies. It also said the CAM5 plant it recently completed in Pohang will begin operations in the second quarter of this year. EcoPro BM also plans to soon issue an official announcement of its JV with Samsung SDI.
With SK Innovation, EcoPro BM signed a four-year contract to supply KRW 2.74 trillion of cathode. Consequently, the supplier said EVs would account for 36% of the demand for its cathode. This was up 26% from its previous year’s plans.
EcoPro BM also said it would be spurring its battery material recycling business. Its holding company EcoPro is already recycling materials from used batteries by sending them to EcoPro Innovation and EcoPro GEM to transform them into lithium and precursor. With these materials, Eco Pro BM makes cathode.
“We are brainstorming for ways to cut more costs by recycling the batteries used by our clients, and to return the profit from such new business procedures to our shareholders and clients,” said Kim Byung-hoon, CEO of Eco Pro BM.
Meanwhile, the firm posted an operating profit of KRW 1.6 billion, down from the estimated 9.4 billion on account of incentive expenses.
In 2019, Eco Pro BM posted a 5% on-year increase in sales to reach KRW 611.6 billion. But its operating profit tumbled 26% to KRW 1.6 billion.
This year, the firm expects to ring up sales of up to KRW 1 trillion by supplying SK Innovation, one of the largest EV battery makers in Korea.
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