Chemical firm Lotte Chemical has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with battery anode start-up Soelect to establish a giga-scale lithium-ion battery anode plant in the US.
The two companies aim to create of a joint venture (JV) and build a GWh-grade lithium metal anode production facility worth about $200 million by 2025.
Soelect develops lithium metal anodes with the goal of achieving better performance and stability compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries using graphite and silicone anode materials.
In February, Lotte Ventures, which is the corporate venture capital of Lotte Group, invested £11 million (1.3 billion KRW) in Soelect together with the US’ General Motors Venture and Daol Investment (formerly KB Network).
Lotte’s battery materials business head, Lee Young-joon, said: “We will quickly procure the core technologies for next-generation batteries and preoccupy the global market by integrating Lotte Chemical’s materials technology and global business capacities with Soelect’s lithium metal anode technologies.”
Soelect CEO Cho Sung-jin said: “The JV will play an important role in the mass-production of lithium metal anodes and will contribute to the establishment of a battery and EV supply chain within the US.”
Lotte Chemical established its Battery Materials Business Department in March and has been actively pursuing the increased capacity of the battery materials business.
In May 2021, Lotte invested 233 billion KRW to build production facilities for highly pure ethylene carbonate and dimethyl carbonate— organic solvents used in EV batteries.
The facilities will be at their Daesan Plant in South Korea, with the goal to complete by the end of 2023.
Lotte also plans to increase its separator membrane business from 4,000 tons to 100,000 tons a year by 2025.