OREANDA-NEWS. January 25, 2018. South Korea-based steelmaker Posco will build two new facilities in China to produce materials for use in lithium-ion batteries.

Under the terms of a joint venture agreement with Chinese cobalt producer Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, Posco will establish two sites in Chengxiang, Zhejiang province for the production of battery precursors and anodes.

Production from the sites is expected to begin in the second half of 2020, each with an output capacity of 4,600 t/yr. Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt will provide nickel, cobalt and manganese metal for production, as will Posco Energy Storage Materials' Gumi cathode plant in South Korea.

Rising demand for electric vehicles has increased Chinese investment in rechargeable lithium-ion battery technology. The Chengxiang sites will allow Posco to sell anodes and cathode precursors directly to Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers. The company expects global demand for cathodes to increase to around 860,000t in 2020 from around 210,000t in 2016.