Korea Zinc Advances with New Eco-Friendly Nickel Smelter in Ulsan

Korea Zinc Advances with New Eco-Friendly Nickel Smelter in Ulsan

Construction and Capacity of the New Facility

Korea Zinc is set to enhance its production capabilities with the construction of an innovative “All-in-One Nickel Smelter” in Ulsan’s Onsan Industrial Complex. The groundbreaking ceremony, held on November 15, marked the start of a project that is poised to significantly boost Korea Zinc’s nickel production. The new facility, which involves an investment of 506.3 billion won, is designed to have an annual production capacity of about 42,600 tons. This development will elevate Korea Zinc’s total nickel production capacity to 65,000 tons, enough to support the manufacture of batteries for 1.6 million electric vehicles.

Operational Details and Eco-Friendly Approach

The All-in-One Nickel Smelter is an initiative by Korea Zinc’s subsidiary KEMCO. The facility’s operation, slated to commence in 2026, will enable Korea Zinc to process a diverse range of nickel-containing materials, including nickel matte and mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP). The smelter will produce various products like sulfuric acid nickel, sulfuric acid cobalt, and battery precursors.

A key aspect of this project is its commitment to sustainability, with the application of a low-carbon method to minimize carbon emissions. This approach aligns with global environmental concerns and the push for greener industrial practices.

Implications for Battery Material Supply

The establishment of the All-in-One Nickel Smelter is a significant stride for Korea Zinc in supplying high-purity sulfuric acid nickel. This material is crucial for secondary batteries, and the output from the new facility is anticipated to meet the stringent standards set by the United States’ Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). With the start of full-scale commercial production in 2026, Korea Zinc is poised to become a key player in the supply chain for battery materials, particularly for electric vehicles.

More latest Metals News! icon

    Subscribe to the most timely news about the metals market

    Metals Wire's weekly digest for mining and processing industry professionals, investors, analysts, journalists.