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Posco Chemical to supply key EV battery materials to Norway's Morrow Batteries

Chung Dae-hun, head of energy material business unit at Posco Chemical (right), and Morrow Batteries CEO Terje Andersen pose after signing an agreement for the development and supply of electric vehicle battery materials on Thursday. (Posco Chemical)
Chung Dae-hun, head of energy material business unit at Posco Chemical (right), and Morrow Batteries CEO Terje Andersen pose after signing an agreement for the development and supply of electric vehicle battery materials on Thursday. (Posco Chemical)
Posco Chemical will supply cathodes and anodes, two crucial components of electric vehicle batteries, to Norwegian battery manufacturer Morrow Batteries, accelerating its push to expand its footprint in the European market.

According to the refractory and secondary battery materials arm of South Korean steel giant Posco, the cathodes and anodes will go inside the batteries to be mass-produced by Morrow Batteries starting 2024, as part of an agreement signed by the two firms on Thursday.

Morrow Batteries is currently building a battery plant with an annual production capacity of 42 gigawatt-hours in Arendal, Norway. The facility, which will be powered 100 percent by hydropower, will churn out enough batteries for 700,000 EVs per year, once completed. Major investors include Agdel Energy Venture, a subsidiary of Norway‘s largest energy producer Statkraft, and Danish pension fund PKA.

Under the partnership, Posco Chemical and Morrow Batteries will co-develop batteries and accelerate the early stage of the development process.

Cathodes and anodes are two of the four key components of EV batteries along with separators and electrolytes. Cathodes decide how powerful batteries can become, while anodes are responsible for their stability.

Posco Chemical is the only Korean company that produces both cathodes and anodes. One of its major clients is LG Energy Solution.

Buoyed by the global electrification boom, Posco Chemical enjoyed a record quarterly revenue of 505 billion won ($429.9 million) in the July-September period.

According to IHS Markit, the size of the European EV market, which stands at 82GWh this year, is expected to spike to 410GWh by 2026. Among other nations, Norway is known as an “EV haven” for the wide popularity of electric cars there. Last year, Norway became the first country in the world where EV sales exceeded 50 percent of all new vehicles registered in 2020.

To meet the explosive demand for EVs, Posco Chemical aims to increase its global production capacity of cathodes to 400,000 tons by 2030 from last year’s 40,000 tons, and that of anodes to 260,000 tons from 44,000 tons in the same period.

“By combining Morrow Batteries’ innovative technologies and Posco Chemical‘s advanced materials, we will together lead the European EV market,” Chung Dae-hun, head of energy material business unit at Posco Chemical, said.

By Kim Byung-wook (kbw@heraldcorp.com)
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