LOTTE Chemical - USA SOELECT MOU for Joint Venture to Produce Next-generation Battery Materials ‘Lithium Metal Anode’
LOTTE Chemical - USA SOELECT
MOU for Joint Venture to Produce Next-generation Battery Materials ‘Lithium Metal Anode’
█ Signed MOU with ‘SOELECT’, a US start-up that develops lithium metal anode materials
█ Reviewing establishment of joint venture and construction of GWh-level lithium metal anode plant worth approximately 200 million USD by
‘25 to prepare for the increased demand of EV batteries
█ Goal to develop and commercialize lithium metal battery technologies drawing attention as ‘next-generation batteries’ for its high energy concentration
and stability compared to existing lithium-ion batteries through the cooperation of the two companies
█ Battery Materials Business Head Lee Young-joon, “We plan to preoccupy the future global market by procuring core technologies for next-generation batteries
and actively target the US market that will lead the battery materials supply chain in the future"
█ LOTTE Chemical to expand high-value high-growth battery materials business in earnest... Accelerating multi-faceted entry into battery materials business
through the establishment of the ‘Battery Materials Business Unit’, construction of battery electrolyte production facilities, and investment in vanadium
ion batteries, etc.
LOTTE Chemical (CEO and Vice Chairman Kim Gyo-hyun will establish a local joint venture with an EV battery startup in the United States.
LOTTE Chemical announced on the 27th that it signed an MOU on the 26th (Korea time) with SOELECT that is a startup that develops lithium-ion metal anodes and solid electrolytes, which are drawing attention as core materials for next-generation batteries.
The two companies agreed to review establishment of a joint venture (JV) and the construction of a GWh-grade lithium metal anode production facility worth about 200 million USD in the United States by 2025.
Lithium metal batteries are batteries that replace anode materials with lithium (metal). It is featured by better performance and stability compared to existing lithium-ion batteries that use graphite and silicone as anode materials. Lithium metal anodes enhance energy density and charging speed to increase driving distance and battery life of EVs, and is therefore receiving attention as battery materials for the future.
In February of this year, LOTTE Ventures, which is the corporate venture capital (CVC) of LOTTE Group, invested 11 million USD (app. 1.3 billion KRW) in SOELECT together with the US General Motors Venture (GMV) and Daol Investment (formerly KB Network). The investment funds of LOTTE Ventures were procured through LOTTE Chemical Innovation Fund 2 and this fund was raised by LOTTE Chemical investing 9.9 billion KRW, or 76%, of the total investment of 13 billion KRW.
Battery Materials Business Head Lee Young-joon stated, “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,” while adding “We plan to actively pioneer the future global battery market focusing on the US that has had high increase in demands for EVs and high battery import dependency.”
SOELECT CEO Cho Sung-jin stated, “We are very happy to enter this MOU and start a partnership with LOTTE Chemical, which is a global chemical company,” while adding, “The JV with LOTTE Chemical 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 newly established the ‘Battery Materials Business Department’ headed by the Advanced Materials President Lee Young-joon in March and has been actively pursuing the increased capacity of the battery materials business to serve as part of the future growth engine.
In May of last year, 233 billion KRW was invested to construct the production facilities for highly pure ethylene carbonate (EC) and dimethyl carbonate (DMC), which are organic solvents for EV batteries at the Daesan Plant with the goal to complete by the end of 2023. In the case of the separation membrane business, which is one of the four major battery materials, it plans to increase the current annual production of 4,000 tons to annual production of 100,000 tons by 2025 to reach sales of 200 billion KRW.
It has been accelerating its efforts in multi-faceted battery materials businesses such as investing 65 billion KRW in ‘Standard Energy’, which was the first in the world to develop vanadium ion batteries, which is receiving attention as the next-generation battery for energy storage systems (ESS), to become the second largest shareholder and owning 15% of its shares in January of this year.
LOTTE Chemical plans to grow into a core enterprise for the supply chain of EV-battery-materials through systematic and proactive investments and incubating in preparation for the future increase in demand for EVs and expansion of renewable energy.