LG Chem Ltd., South Korea's top chemicals company, has completed the raw material supply system for batteries by securing a long-term supplier of lithium, a key raw material in making secondary batteries, after nickel and cobalt.
The company announced on July 4 that it has signed a five-year deal for lithium hydroxide with Nemaska Lithium, a Canadian mining operator and lithium producer. The deal allows LG Chem to receive 7,000 tons of lithium hydroxide per year, enough for batteries for about 140,000 high performance electric vehicles that can run for more than 320 kilometers on a single charge. The deal is set to begin in the second half of 2020.
Lithium hydroxide is generally used to produce high-capacity electric vehicle batteries as it is easy to compound with nickel, which can improve the capacity of batteries. Lithium carbonate is used to manufacture batteries for information technology (IT) devices such as laptop and cellphone.
An official from the company said, “Lithium hydroxide is more frequently used to make high performance electric vehicle batteries than lithium carbonate because it is easily combined with nickel. We will be able to stable the raw material supply system needed to produce batteries along with long-term cobalt and nickel sulfate suppliers that we have already secured.”