Another Chinese-South Korea investment deal has been done to produce lithium battery materials in China— in the latest sign of a thaw in economic tensions between the countries.
Chinese mining company Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt said its subsidiary, Huayou New Energy Technology, has signed a deal with South Korea’s LG Chem to launch two new joint venture companies at a total investment of some $645.6 million.
South Korean battery giant LG Chem is to work with Indian car multinational Mahindra & Mahindra to develop a “unique” NMC (nickel-manganese-cobalt) battery for electric vehicles made in India.
Under the partnership, LG Chem will design and supply its newly-developed NMC technology for the Mahindra and SsangYong series of EV— lithium-ion modules for Mahindra Electric’s vehicles— and create battery packs for the Mahindra group and other customers.
Poland is to ‘sweeten’ a deal with South Korea’s LG Chem to build a major batteries production plant in the country for electric vehicles— with a grant reportedly worth more than $70 million, BBB can reveal.
A spokesperson for Poland’s entrepreneurship and technology ministry told BBB a contract for the grant would be signed soon, but declined to say whether the cash had been part of the agreement, announced in 2016, for LG Chem to set up the plant.
A subsidiary of Finland’s Wärtsilä Corporation is to install an “advanced energy storage system” to support grid power delivery in the US state of Massachusetts.
US-based Greensmith Energy Storage Technology has been selected to provide the 1 MW/2MWh battery system, which uses LG Chem batteries and Sungrow inverters, to utility Origis Energy USA.
Seoul has confirmed it is in direct talks with China aimed at patching up a trade row that led Beijing to slap sanctions on the use of South Korean batteries.
As BBB reported last week, signs that the two countries were attempting to bury the batteries hatchet emerged as South Korean and Chinese firms formed two joint ventures to produce lithium-ion battery materials from bases in China.
Japan’s IHI Corporation has unveiled plans to launch a lithium battery storage project in the country’s Fukushima Prefecture.
IHI said the 500kW, 2.5MWh storage facility, incorporating LG Chem Li-ion battery racks, will be developed by US-based subsidiary IHI Energy Storage.
South Korea is backing plans by the country’s battery giants to inject a total of KRW2.3 trillion ($2.3 billion) into the sector over the next three years, to expand production and challenge China’s increasing dominance of the market.
The move, led by battery giants LG Chem, Samsung SDI and SK Innovation Companies is in response to Chinese sanctions the firms say effectively block the use of South Korean batteries in electric vehicles in China.