POSCO, South Korea’s largest steelmaker, said on Aug. 22 that it has held a ceremony to mark the completion of its first overseas plant for producing the battery material, cathode, in China. The plant was created as a joint venture with China’s Huayou Cobalt, and was built a year after it began construction.
“The joint venture, as our first overseas corporation in the future growth division, is a reflection of POSCO’s determination to expand into new territory,” said Oh Gyu-seok, head of the steelmaker’s future growth department. “We hope to continue working closely with Huayou Cobalt to secure global leadership the field.”
In January last year, POSCO’s board of directors approved the plan to build the joint JV under the corporation ZPHE that has the capacity to churn out 5,000 tons of battery cathode material a year. POSCO invested 60% in the JV, while Huayou Cobalt invested another 40%.
The JV expects to begin mass production as early as the end of this year, according those close to the matter.
POSCO has been recently making a foray into the battery materials market after declaring that it would seek a 20% global market share by 2030 in the energy material business. It also plans to increase related sales to 17 trillion won to turn it into a driving force for future growth.
The steelmaker has now secured an annual 20,000 tons of cathode per year from facilities at both home and abroad. It plans to make further investment to raise the production to 45,000 tons next year.
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