LS Materials breaks ground for EV aluminum parts factory in southern city

By Park Sae-jin Posted : April 18, 2024, 16:04 Updated : April 18, 2024, 17:58
Courtesy of LS Materials
Courtesy of LS Materials

SEOUL, April 18 (AJU PRESS) - LS Materials, the materials-processing wing of Korea's LS Group, has broken the ground for an electric vehicle battery case component. Aluminum parts produced at the factory will provide protection for EV batteries that are vulnerable to external impacts.

High-performance lithium-ion batteries, mainly used in EVs, can contain high levels of energy but they can easily combust when the battery casing is breached and internal components are damaged. High-performance battery fires are extremely hard to put out. It takes hours for an EV to completely burn down while firefighters can only try to keep fire from spreading.

Between January 2020 and September 2023, there were 78 EV battery combustion cases, according to transport ministry data. A person was killed in a fatal EV battery combustion accident in 2022 and 10 people were injured by an EV fire in 2023.

LS Materials said that HAIMK, a joint materials-processing venture with Austria's aluminum parts maker Hai, held a groundbreaking ceremony for an aluminum EV battery component factory in the southern industrial city of Gumi on Wednesday. A total of 75 billion won ($54.5 million) will be injected for the construction of the plant.

The factory, scheduled to start operation in the first quarter of 2025, will have an annual production capacity of about 300,000 EV units. According to the Korean materials company, the battery shield component is made with high-strength aluminum that can protect cells from external impacts without heavy steel parts.

"The mass-produced aluminum component will be Korea's only product that meets the quality standards required by the automotive industry," LS Materials CEO Hong Young-ho said in a statement. Hong added that the company expects sales of more than 200 billion won by 2027.
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