Umicore announces partnership with LG Chem for the supply of NMC cathode materials

Regional website Korea

Umicore and LG Chem have concluded a multi-year strategic supply agreement for NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) cathode materials to serve LG Chem’s needs out of Umicore plants in Poland, Korea and China. The supply agreement takes effect in 2020 and covers a total volume of 125,000 metric tonnes to be delivered over several years. The companies are also entering a technology licensing arrangement covering fundamental IP rights.

This supply agreement will support LG Chem in meeting the growing demand for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries as car manufacturers are expanding their offering of longer-range electric vehicle models in several regions. LG Chem will benefit from Umicore’s experience of close to two decades in developing and producing cost-optimized cathode materials allowing long driving ranges, faster charge and low battery degradation. Most of the volumes covered by this agreement will be supplied from Umicore’s greenfield facility in Poland. Umicore will be the first company to supply cathode materials to its global customers with identical quality and performance from its different production plants across regions.

The technology agreement provides for a cross-licensing set-up allowing both companies to further assert their IP leadership. As a result of this agreement, both companies will share user rights on a selection of fundamental global patents for different high-end NMC cathode materials used in automotive and energy storage applications.

Umicore is also assisting LG Chem in closing the loop by recycling its production residues and the companies are currently discussing the terms of a long-term cooperation in battery recycling.

This partnership between two leaders in their part of the lithium-ion battery value chain demonstrates their commitment to build a sizable, global and sustainable industrial footprint to produce high-performance and cost-competitive lithium-ion batteries for fast-growing automotive electrification.

Marc Grynberg, CEO commented: “Umicore is committed to enabling the transition to electrified mobility and this comprehensive agreement with LG Chem provides a significant step in the deployment of our strategy. This is also a strong signal of recognition of our product and process expertise and our ability to meet the stringent and outstanding performance and quality standards of LG Chem.”

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