China’s GEM signs five-year battery material supply deal with ECOPRO

BEIJING – Chinese battery firm GEM Co Ltd will supply 170,000 tonnes of raw materials to South Korean battery maker ECOPRO Co Ltd from 2019 to 2023, its latest effort to win a bigger share of the booming power cell market.

GEM signed a memorandum of understanding with ECOPRO to sell 16,000 tonnes of lithium nickel-cobalt-aluminium oxide (NCA) cathode materials in 2019, the company said in a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange on Monday.

The volume will increase to 24,000 tonnes in 2020 and 40,000 tonnes in 2021, GEM said. Prices for the deal were not disclosed.

It will separately negotiate with the ECOPRO about further purchase plans for 2022 to 2023.

GEM currently has battery raw materials production capacity of 60,000 tonnes per annum.

“We will adjust production capacity based on demands in 2019 to ensure the orders from customers,” said GEM on Monday separately at a platform run by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

GEM will also offer nickel hydroxide raw ingredient and share technology of sulphate production from cobalt hydroxide and nickel hydroxide with ECOPRO, according to the stock filing.

The two companies will also work together to build plants for cobalt power and basic nickel carbonate production in South Korea.

Share prices of GEM rose 1.3 percent to 3.99 yuan ($0.58) on Monday, while ECOPRO climbed 0.6 percent to 34,150 won ($30.37).

China’s top miner China Minmetals Corp also said on Monday that it has launched the first phase of a new energy battery materials project with production capacity of nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) hydroxides at 40,000 tonnes.

($1 = 6.8979 Chinese yuan renminbi)

($1 = 1,124.3300 won)

(By Muyu Xu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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