South Korean conglomerate Lotte has made an announcement regarding the establishment of a cutting-edge factory in Spain. This facility will focus on producing copper foils tailored for battery cells utilized in electric vehicles. The factory, situated near Tarragona, is projected to achieve an annual production capacity of up to 30,000 tonnes of copper foils by 2025.
The responsibility for the construction lies with Lotte Energy Materials, a subsidiary formed in March 2023 as an outcome of the acquisition of foil specialist Iljin Materials. Impressively, Lotte Energy Materials has gained a distinctive position as the first South Korean entity to join the Volkswagen-led eMobility consortium ‘Future: Fast Forward’ in Spain. This development points toward potential collaboration with the forthcoming PowerCo battery factory, currently under construction in Sagunt near Valencia.
Lotte Energy Materials’ groundbreaking copper foil factory is to be established in Mont-Roig del Camp, a Catalan town within the province of Tarragona in north-eastern Spain. The company is earmarking an investment of 560 billion won (equivalent to 391 million euros) to facilitate the completion of the factory, projected to achieve a production capacity of 30,000 tonnes annually by 2025. Importantly, the site possesses the potential for expansion, potentially reaching an impressive 100,000 tonnes per year. This endeavor is backed by the Spanish government through the PERTE funding program.
Encompassing a sprawling 440,000 square meters, the site also has provisions for additional land acquisition, aligning with Lotte’s forward-looking vision. There is mention of securing an additional 500,000 square meters for potential solar power generation.
Anticipated site development activities are slated to commence before the conclusion of the latter half of 2023. Visual representations shared by the company reveal that the factory is set amidst what appears to be agricultural terrain, rather than an existing industrial zone. These images also provide insights into the layout for forthcoming expansion constructions. The exact timeline for the completion of the expansion, reaching the projected annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes, remains unspecified in both Lotte’s communication and South Korean media reports.
Lotte highlights that the outlined timeline represents a revision from earlier plans. Originally slated for 25,000 tonnes beginning in 2024, production has been restructured to encompass 30,000 tonnes per year from 2025, a shift influenced by the discerned demand from local customers in Europe.
Presently, Lotte Energy Materials contributes approximately 60,000 tonnes of copper foil annually to the global market. This comprises 20,000 tonnes produced in South Korea and an additional 40,000 tonnes from facilities in Malaysia. The company’s strategic vision targets a substantial 30% share of the global high-value copper foil market by 2028, with an impressive annual production capacity of 240,000 tonnes. The prospective contribution of the Spanish factory, potentially reaching 100,000 tonnes annually, stands as a pivotal factor in achieving this ambitious goal.
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