Posco and Huayou Cobalt to launch secondary cell recycling business

South Korea’s POSCO, one of the world’s top steel producers, will push forward a lithium-ion battery recycling business together with China’s Huayou Cobalt Co. Ltd., as part of the steelmaker’s move to strengthen the eco-friendly business.

The steel giant said Friday that it held an investment signing ceremony with the South Jeolla Province government. Under the contract, POSCO HY Clean Metal, a 65:35 joint venture between POSCO and Huayou Cobalt, will inject 120 billion won ($107.55 million) to build a facility in the province for extracting black powder, which contains nickel, lithium, cobalt and manganese.

“At the Yulchon Industrial Complex in Gwangyang, POSCO HY Clean Metal will begin constructing a black powder production line that is capable of processing 10,000 tons per year within 2021. We also plan to establish additional lines depending on future market conditions,” POSCO said.

The battery recycling business is an eco-friendly business that extracts nickel, lithium and other key battery materials from waste batteries. With more electric cars hitting the roads, the battery recycling market is estimated to grow to 8 trillion won in 2030.

POSCO has been ramping up its effort to become a core player in the emerging electric car battery market. The company recently began constructing a plant in the Yulchon complex to extract lithium hydroxide for electric vehicle batteries. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 43,000 tons of lithium hydroxide.

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