LG Chem plans 6-fold growth in battery materials sales

LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol said  that the company will expand its sales of battery materials to 30 trillion won ($22.4 billion) by 2030, a sixfold increase from 4.7 trillion won in 2022.

Shin added the company also aims to make its annual sales from three growth drivers – battery materials, sustainability businesses and pharmaceuticals – to reach 40 trillion won by 2030, which will make up 57 percent of the company’s total annual sales.

LG Chem’s mid-term growth plan was unveiled during an investor conference organized by Bank of America in Seoul, Tuesday.

Based on the renewed push in burgeoning areas, the CEO said LG Chem will accelerate its strategic shift from a petrochemical-focused firm to a “top global science company.”

To take the lead in the battery materials market, LG Chem aims to have an annual production of 470,000 metric tons of high-nickel cathode – a key material for high-performance EVs – from manufacturing facilities located in South Korea, China, the US and Europe by 2028. This is an almost fourfold increase from its current annual production of 120,000 tons in 2023.

LG Chem plans to increase the proportion of its overseas clients for battery materials to 40 percent in the future.

The company will also increase the number of high-nickel cathode product lineups, while adding new battery products based on ultrahigh-nickel layered cathodes and single-crystal cathode materials.

Shin said LG Chem is also considering launches of more cost-efficient cathode materials amid increasing demand for cost reduction in battery materials in the EV industry. Cathode materials such as high-voltage mid-nickel, lithium iron phosphate and manganese-rich are some of the products that LG Chem may introduce in the future.

LG Chem will bolster partnerships to secure a global battery metals supply chain. To this end, it will establish joint ventures, make equity investments and secure new supply contracts with major players in the industry, such as Huayou Cobalt, Piedmont Lithium and Korea Energy Materials Company.

LG Chem will seek new business opportunities in other materials used in the secondary battery, such as separators, carbon nanotubes, anode binders and cathode dispersants.

The company said its material technologies involving pure silicon anodes, electrolytes for solid-state batteries and flame-resistant battery material aerogels will help it start new businesses as well.

In terms of its sustainability business, LG Chem aims to increase its sales to 8 trillion won in 2030, up from 1.9 trillion won in 2022. LG Chem said it is currently securing a wide range of products to target the recycled plastics market, which is expected to reach 100 trillion won by 2028.

LG Chem will also grow its pharmaceutical unit to secure five new FDA-approved drugs and annual sales of 2 trillion won by 2030. Oncology drugs and metabolic therapeutics will be the main areas of research and development, according to the company.

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