SMM10 28: Umicore and Samsung SDI signed a supply agreement, the deal is scheduled to begin in 2020, Umicore will supply Samsung SDI nearly 80, 000 metric tons of NCM materials. Samsung SDI will use these materials to make automotive applications and energy storage systems.
Mark Greenberg (Marc Grynberg), chief executive of Umicore, said: "[the agreement] highlights the emergence of a sustainable battery value chain and the commitment of major industry participants to support the penetration of electric vehicles into the growing global demand.
The transparency of the raw material supply chain remains the focus of attention in the battery metal field. Most of the key elements of cobalt, lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles, are mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where mining is often related to child labour and human rights violations.
"responsible procurement remains a key topic in the industry. It is most important for carmakers to do the right due diligence to ensure that the materials purchased are sustainable," said Casper Rawls, senior analyst at benchmark Minerals Intelligence.
Umicore's announcement came just a month after it said it would work with South Korean battery maker LG Chem to provide cathode materials for battery production from 2020.
The Belgian battery materials maker will supply a total of 125000 metric tons of materials from Umicore's factories in Poland, South Korea and China to LG Chem plants for the production of batteries.
Most of the cathode material for LG Chem batteries will come from Umicore's new cathode plant in Poland, which will go into production by the end of 2020. As the European Union continues to push for batteries in the region, Umicore will invest $370 million in manufacturing plants.
Umicore, Europe's largest maker of battery materials for electric vehicles, earlier this year signed a long-term deal with Glencore to extract cobalt from the mining giant's business in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company also acquired the Kokkola cobalt refining and cathode precursor business in Finland for $150 million from a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan.
In 2019, Samsung SDI significantly expanded its presence in the lithium battery industry chain, restarting capacity expansion plans and expanding battery plants in Europe and China.
It is reported that Samsung SDI plans to invest 390 billion Hungarian forint (9.2 billion yuan) to expand its Hungarian power battery plant. After the expansion, the annual production capacity will meet the battery demand of 50, 000 electric vehicles.
It is clear that Samsung SDI is speeding up the layout of its battery industry and is confident that its battery business will develop in the future. Thanks to the rapid growth of the new energy vehicle market and the promotion of European automotive electrification strategy, Samsung SDI's power battery business has also made a great breakthrough.
In July 2019, Samsung SDI and Sweden Volvo Group announced a strategic alliance to provide them with battery cells and modules to meet the production needs of Volvo Group electric trucks. In September, Samsung SDI signed an agreement with Akasol, a German maker of power battery systems, to supply lithium battery cells and modules for the power systems of electric commercial vehicles. Under the agreement, Samsung SDI will supply Akasol with lithium battery cells and modules with a total capacity of 13GWh between 2020 and 2027.
Although Samsung SDI power battery business has achieved good results, but its battery business profit is still not optimistic, facing greater market competition pressure.
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