South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd has announced plans to establish a battery recycling joint venture in North America by the end of next year with Jae Young Tech, a specialist automotive battery recycling company.
Founded in 2016, Jae Young Tech claims to have developed an efficient in-house process to extract high-purity lithium from lithium waste, including end-of-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The materials processing center in Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea, uses heat to extract lithium from used batteries before processing other materials such as manganese, cobalt and nickel. It has a lithium recovery rate of over 85%, the highest in the world.
LG Chem is a major global supplier of electric vehicle battery materials and is the parent of LG Energy Solution Ltd, South Korea’s largest paste manufacturer. The company confirmed that it has agreed to buy JaeYoung Tech shares for 24 billion won (US$19 million) as part of a swap. consolidate the alliance.
LG Chem said it will lead the North American recycling business, including business model development for the joint venture, while Jae Yang Tech said it will “take charge of technology issues such as plant design.” The new company will work with local companies with a North American supply chain.
Earlier this year, LG Chem and LG Energy Solution agreed to invest 60 billion won in Li-Cycle, North America’s largest battery recycling company.
Sanghyub Lee, vice president of LG Chem’s corporate strategy department, said in a statement, “We will create a cornerstone for entering the global battery recycling business through our equity investment. We will ensure our competitive edge with reputable technologies and lead the way in creating a circular economy in the future.”