Samsung SDI is Samsung’s arm that develops batteries for electric vehicles, smartphones, smartwatches, and wireless earphones. It has been revealed that the company will invest around KRW 48 billion (around $39 million) in EcoPro EM, a joint venture that will make cathode materials for electric vehicle batteries.
EcoPro EM is a joint venture between EcoPro BM and Samsung SDI. The total investment into EcoPro EM will be KRW 120 billion (around $96.9 million), and Samsung SDI will contribute KRW 48 billion, while EcoPro BM will invest the remaining amount of KRW 72 billion. EcoPro BM will control 60 percent of the joint venture, while Samsung SDI will have 40 percent control.
The joint venture is expected to begin the construction of the cathode material plant in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province in South Korea before the end of this year. The production of cathode materials for NCA (Nickel Cobalt Aluminum) 811 batteries will start in the first quarter of 2022.
A cathode is among the four main parts of a lithium-ion battery. The other three parts are anode, electrolyte, and separator. Samsung SDI entered this joint venture to become more self-reliant in making electric vehicle batteries, which is its primary source of income. It recently partnered with Hyundai to supply batteries for Hyundai’s future electric cars and plug-in hybrids.