LG Chem Seeks to Localize Battery Pouch with Korean Firms to Depend Less on Japan
LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo visits LG Chem’s R&D Campus in Daejeon, a center of LG Chem’s representative raw materials and parts R&D, on Aug. 29.
LG Chem is seeking to collaborate with Korean companies to localize the supply chain for battery pouch films, for which the chemical company currently depends on imports from Japan. Analyses show that Korean battery makers like LG Chem, SK Innovation and Samsung SDI are accelerating efforts to ensure technology self-efficiency as Japan’s removal of Korea from the so-called white list of countries subject to eased customs clearance took effect on Aug. 28.
At a speech at the Korea Advanced Battery Conference 2019 held at COEX in Samseong-dong, Seoul, on Aug. 28, President Kim Myung-hwan of LG Chem’s Battery Research Center said LG Chem would push for localizing battery pouch film in collaboration with Korean companies, including YoulChon Chemical.
Battery pouch film is a key battery item designed to wrap up the outside of the battery. Japan’s Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) and Showa Denko owns a 70 percent share in the global battery pouch film market.
LG Chem and SK Innovation use pouches for producing the whole EV batteries whereas Samsung SDI adopts pouch film. LG Chem has no problems in importing pouches from DNP and Showa Denko since they are compliance program (CP) certificate companies, President Park said. But the Japanese government could impose export curbs on the item if they wanted, he added.
Explaining the reason for LG Chem’s dependence on pouch imports from Japan, President Kim said Korean companies such as YoulChon Chemical and Korea Aluminum produce battery pouches, but they lag behind Japanese counterparts in terms of price and quality.
LG Chem has so far used better quality and cheaper pouches regardless of the country of origin, and the company has been testing pouch films YoulChon Chemical, President Kim said. LG Chem will push for localizing pouches in collaboration with Korean companies, including YoulChon Chemical, he added.
President Kim Myung-hwan of LG Chem’s Battery Research Center speaks about the possible localization of battery pouch films at a speech at the Korea Advanced Battery Conference 2019 held at COEX in Samseong-dong, Seoul, on Aug. 28. (Photo: LG Chem)
LG Group Chmn. Koo Tours Group’s Raw Materials, Parts and Equipment Research Centers
LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo, concurrently CEO of LG Corp., toured LG Chem’s R&D Campus in Daejeon, a center of LG Chem’s representative raw materials and parts R&D, on Aug. 29.
Chairman Koo also toured LG Electronics Materials and Production Engineering Research Institute last month and discussed equipment technology development strategies designed to enhance manufacturing and production capabilities.
He visited LG Group’s raw materials, parts and equipment research centers for the second straight month.
Chairman Koo received briefings on next-generation raw materials and parts, such as G3 EV batteries and soluble OLED and discussed R&D strategies, with each chief task researcher. LG is developing a G3 EV battery capable of driving more than 500 km per charge.