Precursor materials investment boost for Korean battery enterprise zone

Precursor materials investment boost for Korean battery enterprise zone

Precursor materials investment boost for Korean battery enterprise zone 893 1024 Energy Storage Journal

January 25, 2024: Chemicals company Paik Kwang Industrial is to start building a KRW300 billion ($224 million) precursor materials plant at a new battery enterprise zone in South Korea, the country’s Saemangeum Development and Investment Agency (SIDA) announced on January 12.

Energy Storage Journal reported last August that South Korea’s government had designated the Saemangeum Industrial Complex, in the west of the country, as a “future growth engine” for batteries.

SDIA said Paikkwang’s 100,000m2 facility will produce materials including phosphorus trichloride (PCI3) and phosphorus pentachloride (PCI5) — precursors for an electrolyte material used in lithium ion batteries.

Paikkwang’s production of PCI3 and PCI5 will eventually replace most of that imported from China, SDIA said.

SDIA administrator Kim Kyung-ahn said Paikkwang’s project takes total pledged investment at Saemangeum to date to KRW10 trillion ($7.6 billion).

Saemangeum, built on reclaimed land, is already home to divisions of high-tech national and international companies including separators firm Toray and battery tech group Solvay.

Korea pledged last April to launch a multibillion dollar program to defend and expand its battery industry amid fears lucrative US tax breaks and incentives are tipping the global battery trade balance stateside.