S. Korean plastic film maker wins US$1 bln battery material supply deal for LG-GM joint venture

SEOUL– Youlchon Chemical Co., a South Korean producer of plastic films, said Wednesday it has signed an agreement to supply a key battery component used in electric vehicles to the joint venture company run by LG Energy Solution Ltd. and U.S. General Motors Co. for the next six years.

The US$1.04 billion supply deal commits Youlchon to providing high-formability aluminum pouch films, used for lithium-ion battery pack casings, to Ultium Cells LLC., starting 2023 through 2028, the Seoul-based company said in a regulatory filing.

Aluminum pouch films are a type of coating material that protects the critical components in lithium-ion batteries, including anodes and cathodes, separators and electrolyte.

The latest agreement marks the first case of commercial-scale domestic production by a South Korean supplier, which will help South Korean battery makers reduce their dependency on the Japanese-made pouch films.

Youlchon had mainly engaged in producing standard pouch films for packaging, but in recent years, it has focused on the high-formability pouch film manufacturing for EV batteries, with the technological and personnel support from LG Energy Solution, according to industry watchers.

The high-formability aluminum pouch films are about 20 percent thicker than the existing products, which allows it to be better formed into certain required shapes or structures without cracking and therefore enhances the battery performance.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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