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Posco shake-up bid to boost materials sales

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

South Korea’s Posco is set to merge two of its business units to boost its global share of the battery materials market.

Posco’s board is expected to approve the merger of its Chemtech and ESM lithium-ion cathode materials divisions next month— on condition that no more than 20% of shareholders object.

If approved, the merger would take place in April 2019. Chemtech would integrate all group R&D capabilities for cathode materials to “fully develop next-generation cutting-edge products, while also promoting sales expansion”.

Posco said the steelmaking group aims to “actively nurture the rechargeable battery material business as a new growth engine— and support group growth by raising its global market share to 20% and sales to KRW17 trillion (US$15.2 billion) by 2030.

“Chemtech aims to step up its production capacity through facility investments in both anode materials and cathode materials to become a global energy material company, which will earn more than KRW1.4tn in revenues from domestic anode and anode materials businesses in 2021.”

According to Posco, Chemtech is the only Korean manufacturer that mass-produces anode materials. ESM has in “recent years become the first company in the world to mass-produce gradient-NCM active material that contains more than 80% of nickel”.

Posco said Chemtech completed construction of its first anode material factory last November, and will complete the first four production lines by the second half of 2019.

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