In 2021 the big three South Korean battery makers, LG Energy Solutions, SK On and Samsung SDI, together with Hyundai and partners involved in the end-of-life market, founded a reuse and recycling partnership for EV batteries in South Korea. The aim was to both operate a reuse and recycling business , and become a development vehicle for the members for design and development of software and equipment needed for reuse, remanufacturing and recycling of EV batteries.
In May the first center will open in the Naju Innovative Industrial Complex in the South Jeolla Province in South Korea. The companies have invested 23 billion won (22 MUSD) in the 8,600㎡ center which will be able to process more than 1,000 EV battery packs. The aim with the center, which was initiated already in 2019, is to produce new high-value products based on the reused EV batteries. While reuse and remanufacturing is expected to be prioritized partners like Sungeel Hitech, one of the largest lithium-ion battery recyclers in the world, do also participate and bring important expertise around recycling.
South Korea has a tradition of stimulating cooperation between the domestic players both in South Korea and internationally. In 2021 the former government launched the K Battery Strategy. in which reuse and recycling was highly prioritized. The strategy included establishment of state-owned reuse and recycling centers which will work in parallel with industry-funded projects. We have previously reported about these centers here.