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POSCO to increase investments in the cathode materials business

Feb. 13, 2017
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  • - CEO Kwon visits the POSCO ESM cathode materials plant
    - Acquired additional stake in Jan. and will invest additional KRW 300 bil.
    - Only 2 companies in the world produce high-capacity cathode materials with 80% or more Ni.

    POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon is leading the charge to foster future growth engines.


    On February 7, CEO Kwon oversaw the final construction of the lithium factory(PosLX) at Gwangyang Steel Mill, and on February 10, visited the cathode materials factory of POSCO ESM(POSCO Energy Storage Materials), located in Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do, and personally

    inspected the production status and shipping process.


    ▶ On February 10, POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon visited the POSCO ESM cathode materials factory, located in Gumi, and offered encouragement to the employees working there.


    POSCO ESM is a company producing cathode materials that are essential for the manufacture of secondary batteries for portable IT devices such as electric vehicles, laptops and cell phones. Since last month, it succeeded in mass-producing 'PG(POSCO Gradient)-NCM(Nickel Cobalt Manganese)*,' the high-capacity cathode material for low-speed electric vehicles, and has been supplying it to LG Chem. In the meantime, it is being used to only produce general cathode materials.


    On that day, CEO Kwon said, "The cathode materials produced by POSCO ESM are essential for the secondary battery material business of POSCO, and we are planning to invest an additional KRW 300 billion in the cathode materials business until 2020." He expressed a strong will to foster the secondary battery material business.


    CEO Kwon was appointed to serve a second term, carried out restructuring and appointed new executives. Immediately afterwards, he attended the ceremony for celebrating the completion of the construction of the lithium factory in Gwangyang, and visited the site of the cathode materials business. He is eager to secure future growth engines and reinforce the non-steel business.


    To expand the secondary battery business, POSCO acquired a 75.32% stake in POSCO ESM by issuing new stocks last January. As POSCO has now stably secured the management rights of POSCO ESM, the foundation for transforming it into a specialist in secondary battery materials for electric vehicles has now been laid.


    In addition, POSCO ESM recently succeeded in mass-producing high-capacity cathode materials. Although it stepped into the cathode materials market belatedly in 2012, it now stands shoulder to shoulder with the leading cathode materials producers of the world. There are currently only two companies in the world, including POSCO ESM, which can produce high-capacity cathode materials with 80% or more nickel(NCM type).


    ▶ POSCO CEO Ohjoon Kwon poses for a picture with POSCO ESM employees, promising to work together for the success of the new business.


    As environment-friendly policies are being bolstered around the world, demand for electric vehicles is sharply increasing, and the demand for industrial energy storage systems(ESS) and large-capacity batteries for IT devices is also continuously expanding. The size of the global secondary battery market is expected to grow from $29.3 billion in 2016 to $44.2 billion in 2020 and will continuously grow beyond that.


    In keeping with the growth of the secondary battery market, POSCO stays a step ahead of others in the secondary battery material business by accumulating the know-how of producing steel, processing various materials at a high temperature and producing final products over the past 50 years, and the Research Institute for Industrial Science & Technology (RIST) has conducted studies on various new materials, such as lithium, nickel, titanium and carbon, for more than 30 years.


    Meanwhile, POSCO is planning to capitalize on the technologies it developed using POSCO's production know-how and RIST's research competencies to actively transform high-yield businesses such as magnesium and nickel smelting into its future growth engines.


    ※ Overview of POSCO ESM

    ○ Date of establishment: March 2, 2012

    ○ HQ and factory: Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do

    ○ Business: Manufacture and sale of lithium ion secondary battery cathode and anode materials

    ○ Equity structure: POSCO 75.32%, Phoenix Materials 24.68%


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