Lotte Chemical plans to invest up to 3 trillion KRW ($2.3 billion) through 2028 to boost production of copper foil for EV batteries, the company said. In March, Lotte completed the 2.7-trillion KRW (US$2-billion) acquisition of electric foil manufacturer Iljin Materials, and changed Iljin’s name to Lotte Energy Materials, in a bid to boost its battery business.
Lotte Energy Materials President Kim Yeon-seop announced the business strategy at a news conference in Seoul, during which he said that demand for copper foil will increase to 2.2 million tonnes by 2030—a more than four-fold increase from the current 500,000 tonnes.
Lotte Energy Materials is a major copper foil producer and has long-term supply contracts with global battery companies both in Korea and abroad. It operates a production base in Korea and Malaysia, and possesses South Korea’s top production capacity of 60,000 tons (as of the end of 2022) among domestic copper film companies.
In the future, it plans to expand the plant to 230,000 tons by 2027 through its bases in Malaysia, Spain and the US.
Lotte Chemical’s battery materials business initially set its goal to achieve annual sales of 5 trillion KRW (US$3.8 billion) by 2030, but it is expected that the completion of the Iljin acquisition will make it possible to achieve this goal more quickly and that the scope of revenue will be further expanded to 7 trillion KRW (US$5.38 billion).
Lotte Group is actively investing in various battery materials businesses through companies within the chemical unit. Together with Lotte Chemical, Lotte Fine Chemical, and Lotte Aluminum, it is directly and indirectly investing and producing the four major battery materials (cathodes, anodes, electrolytes, separators).
Lotte Chemical is building a separator PE, PP production and battery electrolyte organic solvent (highly pure EC, highly pure DMC) plant, and Lotte Aluminum and Lotte Fine Chemical are currently involved in cathode foil and copper foil businesses (share investment in Solus Advanced Materials).
Lotte Energy Materials has 15 trillion KRW (US$11.5 billion) in outstanding orders for copper foil, the company said, a figure projected to reach 20 trillion KRW (US$15.4 billion) in two years.