LG Chem to be key investor in new fund to support Korean battery innovators

by John Shepherd
Company to boost R&D; team to expand cathode material production. Photo: LG Chem
LG Chem today pledged KRW 150bn (£95m) to become a key investor in a new South Korean fund that will seek out and support domestic firms developing innovative materials for next-generation batteries.

The company is investing in the Korea Battery & Environmental Social and Governance Fund (KBE), operated by Korean domestic private equity fund manager IMM Credit Solutions.

KBE plans to raise more than KRW 400bn to "discover and invest in firms with high technological prowess and high growth potential in environmental, social and governance (ESG) industry-related fields”, LG Chem said.

Main areas of focus for KBE will be materials for next-generation electric vehicle batteries, including the production of cathode and anode materials.

'Future growth engines'

The recycling of key battery metals and polymer products such as waste plastics, and eco-friendly industrial materials, including bioplastic technology, will be another area of focus for potential investments.

Meanwhile, LG Chem – which recently spun-off its wholly-owned battery-making unit LG Energy Solution – said it plans to recruit an additional 100 R&D; personnel, as the company moves to expand production capacity of cathode material from 40,000 tons last year to 260,000 tons in 2026.

LG Chem vice-chairman, Hak-cheol Shin, said: "This investment will serve as a foothold for LG Chem to strengthen the ESG industry eco-system with promising small and medium-sized companies in Korea and to continuously discover future growth engines.”

IMM Credit Solutions is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IMM PE, a leading Korean private equity fund with experience in investing in materials for the electric vehicles and chemical industry sectors.

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