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SK Innovation to set up recycling joint venture with Sungeel HiTech in South Korea

The two companies has signed an MOU with the intention to establish a domestic joint venture combining SK Innovation’s independently developed lithium hydroxide recovery technology and SungEel HiTech’s nickel, cobalt, and manganese recovery technology by 2023. The goal is to set up a facility for recycling of end-of-life batteries which will start commercial production in 2025.

SK Innovation, which is South Koreas second largest producer of EV batteries, has since 2017 been developing a technology to produce lithium hydroxide, the lithium salt which is used for high nickel lithium-ion batteries, from end-of-life batteries. In 2022 the company built a scale-up pilot plant in SK Innovation Institute of Environmental Science & Technology in Daejeon to test the feasibility of the technology’s commercialization. With this test as a foundation, the first commercial plant in Korea will be built in collaboration with SungEel HiTech, aimed to start operating by 2025. SK Innovation aim to set up similar plants later in the US an Europe where the company operate plants in Georgia and Hungary.

The recycling company Sungeel Hitech which was listed on KOSDAQ earlier this year is planning a rapid expansion and has recently announced new plants in the US and Germany while a new plant was commissioned in Poland in a joint venture with cathode producer POSCO.

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