POSCO Group is focusing on expanding its secondary battery materials business as well as those related to lithium, nickel, and graphite, which are core raw materials for the production of secondary batteries.
The group decided to build a value chain for secondary battery materials in accordance with a rise in lithium reserves at a salt lake in Argentina, the pushing of an eco-friendly nickel smelting project, and an equity investment into a graphite mine.
POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo said, “We’re the sole company in the world to build a supply chain of secondary battery materials ranging from raw materials such as lithium, nickel and graphite to cathode and anode materials.”
He called for his executives and staff members to mobilize their resources to nurture secondary battery materials as the world’s top businesses, based on its differentiation competitiveness.
The value chain of the secondary battery industry involves companies producing batteries for EVs, cathode, anode, electrolytes, other secondary battery material companies; and lithium, nickel, graphite and other secondary battery raw materials suppliers.
Outcomes of an evaluation of lithium reserves of the Hombre Muerto salt lake in Argentina showed that deposits amount 13,5 million tons. That is six times more than 2.2 million tons estimated at the time of acquisition.
The amount could produce 370 million EV units. As lithium concentration of the lake was confirmed to stand at 921mg/L, the highest level in the world, the lake turned out to top in terms of lithium deposit and concentration levels.
POSCO has decided to push ahead with production of high-purity nickel, an essential raw material for producing anode material. POSCO is trying to diversify graphite, a raw material for producing cathode material, for which the steelmaker fully depends on Chinese imports.
POSCO is seeking to secure graphite mines in Africa and Australia. In a long-term perspective, POSCO is striving to half its dependence on Chinese graphite imports.
POSCO is also trying to develop materials of a solid-state battery, emerging as a next-generation secondary battery.
POSCO Eyes Hyperloop Era
Cyber Formula is an animation that anyone interested in car racing would have seen when they were younger. (The Korean title is translated as Racer of Glory).
When the main character uses the “booster” function during a race, a car dashes at the speed of sound. In reality, the maximum speed of an F1 race car is about 350 km/h, while the speed of sound reaches 1,224 km/h - about four times faster.
However, it seems that this cartoon-like “sonic speed” transportation could be materialized within 10 years. That is, if “Hyperloop” is commercialized.