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EcoPro to inject W2tr in Pohang to beef up cathode production

July 13, 2023 - 14:25 By Yu Ji-soo
EcoPro's Pohang campus in North Gyeongsang Province (EcoPro)

South Korean battery materials company EcoPro said Thursday it will invest 2 trillion won ($1.6 billion) in an industrial complex in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, to boost an ecosystem for developing cathode materials for rechargeable batteries.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding with the city and provincial governments. The 2 trillion-won funding is the city’s largest-ever single deal secured.

Under the agreement, EcoPro plans to invest 2 trillion won over a period of five years to establish the tentatively named Blue Valley Campus in the city, which will serve as a value chain hub to facilitate the production of raw materials, cathode materials and battery recycling.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the 694,000-square-meter site is scheduled for the fourth quarter of the year with an aim to become operational by the second half of 2025.

"With this campus, we will solidify our foothold as a leading firm in the secondary battery cathode material market,” said EcoPro CEO Song Ho-jun.

With the planned production expansion, EcoPro plans to more than quadruple its annual production capacity for cathode materials from the current 180,000 tons to 710,000 tons by 2028.

It will also transfer its Closed-Loop Ecosystem, a secondary battery value chain completed at the Yeongilman General Industrial Complex in Pohang, to the Blue Valley Campus, fostering the city as its central hub.

Ecopro has invested a total of 2.9 trillion won in Pohang since 2016. As of the end of June, it has created some 1,900 jobs and intends to hire 600 more employees. With the completion of the Blue Valley Campus, it is expected to additionally create at least 1,100 jobs.