By Kim Hyun-bin
SK Materials decided to establish a joint venture with Group14 Technologies, a global provider of silicon-carbon composite materials for lithium-ion markets, Tuesday.
The agreement is calling for the two entities to construct a factory for lithium-silicon battery materials in?South Korea, a move aimed at securing dual sourcing for lithium-silicon technology which is considered a critical measure to mitigate potential global supply chain disruptions to the battery market.
SK Materials will hold a 75 percent stake in the venture with the remaining 25 percent going to Group14 Technologies. SK plans to invest 60.4 billion won ($52 million).
“As one of the world’s largest global manufacturers, we recognize that we must pre-emptively address potential supply chain challenges to stay ahead of the demand,” SK Materials Vice President Park Ki-seon was quoted as saying in the company release.
To mitigate supply chain disruptions in components and parts for use in all consumer gadgets, the new joint venture opens up the capability for dual sourcing of lithium-silicon technology both from?South Korea?and Group14’s Battery Active Materials (BAM) factory in the United States.
The agreement comes on the heels of Group14’s?$17 million?Series B round in?December 2020, which was led by SK Materials. As a leading provider of anode battery materials, Group14’s lithium-silicon technology ― patented as SCC55 ― delivers dramatically more energy density per volume to meet the increasing global demand for high-performing lithium-ion-based storage.
“The battery market is expected to continue this tremendous growth trajectory globally, and the joint venture with SK will further strengthen our capacity to deliver our patented lithium-silicon battery technology to our customers,” Rick Luebbe, CEO and co-founder of Group14 Technologies, was quoted as saying in a separate release. “We are thrilled to take the first step towards establishing our first international factory to manufacture our lithium-silicon battery technology and truly enabling the electrification of everything globally.”