■ A large-scale purchase agreement signed on the 8th at SK Seorin Building in Seoul, Korea to discuss all-round cooperation for the cathode materials business
– To purchase high-performance high-nickel cathode materials worth KRW 10 trillion for 3 years from 2024 to 2026
– A plan to expand cooperation in areas such as cathode material-related business and waste battery recycling
■ President of SK Innovation’s Battery Business Jee Dong-seob: “We will strengthen cooperation with our solid partner Ecopro Group to achieve our goal of becoming a global top company by increasing business competitiveness in the field of high-quality battery and core materials manufacturing”
On the 8th, SK Innovation signed a large-scale purchase agreement with Korea’s top cathode materials manufacturer Ecopro BM at SK Seorin Building in Seoul, Korea to be supplied with KRW 10 trillion worth of cathode materials from 2024 to 2026. The company also agreed to cooperate with Ecopro BM and its holding company Ecopro in all directions in the field of cathode materials to strengthen its competitiveness.
The agreement ceremony was attended by President of SK Innovation’s Battery Business Jee Dong-seob, Head of SK Innovation’s Battery Material Procurement Center Shin Yeong-kee, Chairman of Ecopro Lee Dong-che, and President of Ecopro BM Kwon Woo-seok to discuss ways to enhance cooperation. The parties made a deal to cooperate in various areas in the future including making joint investments in material businesses related to cathode materials, building plants home and abroad, and recycling waste batteries.
Together with Ecopro Group, one of its key partners in materials business, SK Innovation plans to lead the high-performance battery cathode material market, as the demand for it is expected to skyrocket. The company aims to go beyond just stabilizing cathode materials supply and secure competitiveness in the materials industry through cooperation.
The cathode material is a core material that determines the battery performance, and it accounts for almost 50% of the battery cell production cost. Ecopro BM is a leader in the field of high-nickel cathode materials used to make high-performance batteries. High-nickel refers to a battery with a high proportion of nickel among nickel, cobalt, and manganese – the main components of the cathodic material. The higher the nickel content, the better the battery performance.
SK Innovation is the leader of the high-nickel battery market. It supplies Ford with batteries made with NCM9 cathode materials for Ford’s flagship model of electric trucks F-150 Lightning. The NCM9 battery is the strongest high-density nickel battery in the market with a cathodic material with nickel accounting for about 90% of the nickel, cobalt and manganese composition. As the proportion of nickel increases, the battery performance improves in exchange for the stability. For this reason, high-nickel battery is considered difficult to manufacture unless backed by safety related technology.
SK Innovation boasts safety technology that is peerless to the extent that there has not been a single electric vehicle that had a fire caused by its battery. The company succeeded in developing the world’s first NCM9 battery in 2019 through cooperation with Ecopro BM using its unrivaled safety technology.
Jee Dong-seob, President of SK Innovation’s Battery Business, emphasized “We will strengthen cooperation with our solid partner Ecopro Group to achieve our goal of becoming a global top company by increasing business competitiveness in the field of high-quality battery and core materials manufacturing.”
[Photo] SK Innovation’s Battery Business Jee Dong-seob (left) and Chairman of Ecopro Lee Dong-che (right) are taking a commemorative photo at the purchase contract and agreement ceremony held at SK Seorin Building in Seoul, Korea on September 9, 2021.