LG Chemical announced on Sept. 24 that it has signed a contract with Umicore of Belgium to purchase 125,000 tons of cathode materials beginning in 2020. The amount is enough to produce more than one million batteries for high-performance electric vehicles (EVs). Umicore is a Belgian-based chemical materials company that ranks first or second in the global cathode materials market. Last year, it posted about 4.3 trillion won in sales.
LG Chem is currently producing cathode materials on its own while purchasing them from other companies at the same time. In the next three to four years, LG Chem will procure up to 50 percent of cathode materials in Korea, including its own production volume in Korea and purchases from Korean companies.
The contract with Umicore was made in line with the completion of LG Chem's Polish battery plant. “Umicore is operating cathode material production plants in Korea and China where LG Chem's EV battery plants are located,” an LG Chem official said. “Umicore’s Polish plant is scheduled to be completed in 2020. It is close to LG Chem’s battery plant.”
LG Chem will receive cathode materials from Umicore's plants in Korea and China by 2020. Stating in 2021, more than half of the contract volume will be directly supplied from the Umicore plant in Poland.