Ecopro has signed an agreement to invest in the second unit of the nickel smelter ‘QMB’ operated by China’s GEM in Indonesia to secure nickel, a key mineral for secondary batteries. The CEO of Ecopro, Song Ho-joon, visited Indonesia last week and met with GEM Chairman Heo Kae-hwa to sign an investment contract for the second phase of QMB.
QMB is an Indonesian nickel smelter operated by China’s GEM, located in the Morowali Industrial Park (IMIP) in Sulawesi province. The smelter currently has a production capacity of 30,000 tons per year of nickel metal hydride (MHP), and the second phase expansion will increase the capacity to a total of 50,000 tons per year of nickel metal hydride.
Ecopro acquired a 9% stake in QMB through its investment in QMB’s first phase last year and has received firm nickel supply commitments of approximately 6,000 tons per year. This second investment will bring Ecopro’s total investment in QMB to $86 million and will increase the amount of nickel supplied.
The nickel supplied by QMB is converted into nickel sulfate, a precursor raw material for secondary batteries, which is then manufactured into precursors and supplied to family companies producing cathode materials such as EcoProBiM and EcoProiM. EcoProBiM and EcoProIm produce high-nickel materials with a nickel content of over 90%, so a stable supply of nickel is crucial for their business expansion.
“Our participation in QMB has strengthened our vertical integration from raw materials to intermediate materials and anodes,” said Mr. Song Ho-joon, CEO of Ecopro. “As the holding company of Ecopro Group, Ecopro will further focus on building a stable raw material supply chain while increasing business profitability through increased investment in raw materials.”
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