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Korean display tech company KPS enters lithium-ion recycling through lead recycler acquisition

The south korean lead-acid recycler Segi Retech has been acquired by KPS, a south korean display technology company with the plan to branch out to lithium-ion battery recycling

Segi Retech was founded only 13 years ago as a independant lead recycler with lead-acid batteries as the main feedstock. The company supplies several different lead products primarily to the battery industry. The transaction amounted to 27.6 billion won ($21.2M. KPS, which today is not involved in neither recycling nor batteries, is aiming to use Segi Retech's portfolio of permits and certifications to establish a recycling operation for lithium-ion batteries. KPS will acquire recycling technology and plans to expand overseas for collection of batteries.

Among the acquisition contestants was also zinc smelter Youngpoong Group which already has entered the lithium-ion battery recycling industry.

Segi Retech's current plant can today produce more than 45,000 tonnes of lead products at the site in Yeongcheon-si in the North Gyeongsang Province.

That lead-acid recyclers develop processes for lithium-ion batteries is seen over the whole world. In China Narada Power, Vision Group and Camel Battery were early in both getting into lithium-ion battery producation as well as recycling thereof. In Europe the integrated lead company Ecobat has been establishing a full value chain from collection to pre-processing of lithium-ion batteries in Germany and the UK and did in February 2023 announce that it's building a 10,000 tpa pre-processing plant in Arizona in the United States.

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