The South Korean cathode producer POSCO will establish a joint venture with GS Energy, part of the South Korean industry conglomerate GS Group. The joint venture will focus on collection of waste batteries which will be supplied to GS Groups subsidiary Enerma for pre-processing and later for recovery in POSCO's material recovery facility in Pohang.
POSCO and GS Group signed a MOU already in 2021 with the aim to evaluate the possibilities to use the fueling station network or GS Caltex a subsidiary to GS Energy, for the collection of waste batteries. The batteries will then be supplied to Enerma which will process them into black mass which later will be turned into battery chemicals in POSCO's hydrometallurgical plant adjacent to Enerma in Pohang.
Enerma started construction of a plant which will be able to produce 20,000 tonnes of black mass the autumn 2021. This equates to a volume of about 40-50,000 tonnes of waste batteries. POSCO's hydrometallurgical facility is a part of the company's joint venture with Chinese Huayou Cobalt and is planned to be commissioned in late 2022. The JV launched a pre-processing plant in Poland only one month ago. This facility is operated by Sungeel Hitech and process battery production waste from LG Energy Solutions' plant in Poland.
The joint venture between POSCO and GS Energy will go under the brand POSCO-GS Eco Materials and besides collection of waste batteries also develop processes for diagnostics, evaluation and reuse of lithium-ion batteries and launch solutions for battery-as-a-service (BaaS).
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