South Korea-based chemical company LG Chem and China’s Huayou Group have partnered to build a lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cathode materials plant. LG Chem is working to vertically integrate its cathode supply chain.
The LG Chem-Huayou Group partnership will develop four plants: an LFP cathode material facility; a lithium conversion plant, also in Morocco; a high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) plant; and a precursor plant in Indonesia. The plant in Morocco will produce 50,000 tons (t) per year by 2026, enough to power 500,000 entry-class EVs (assuming a 50 kWh battery pack).
As Morocco is a party to the US Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will subsidize LFP cathode materials produced at the Morocco factory for the North American market. LG Chem will also expand into the lithium-manganese-iron-phosphate (LMFP) cathode materials business based at the Morocco plant.
LG Chem will also promote the lithium conversion plant business with Huayou Cobalt in Morocco. The lithium conversion plant is expected to produce 52,000 t of lithium annually by 2025 to supply the LFP plant.
LG Chem and Huayou Cobalt will work to vertically integrate the cathode materials supply chain in Indonesia, ranging from HPAL to precursor production, to meet the IRA’s standards. Indonesia is actively promoting the battery manufacturing and EV sector based on its cost competitiveness, as it has the world’s largest nickel reserves and production. The companies are also considering establishing a precursor plant in Indonesia with an annual production capacity of 50,000 t. They will also discuss the construction of a plant to extract mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) from nickel ore for precursor production.
“Our goal is to create a strong, vertically integrated material supply chain—flowing from raw materials to precursors and cathode materials,” said LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol.
Source: LG Chem