Korean Firms to Expand LiPB Battery Capacities

August 08, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. (Seoul, Korea), LG Chemical Co. Ltd. (Seoul, Korea) and SKC Co. Ltd. (Seoul, Korea) are planning to make large investments in lithium-polymer battery (LiPB) technology. The three companies are each expected to invest 10 billion won in this technology this year in a bid to meet growing demand from wireless devices, including mobile phones and PDAs.

Samsung SDI, which first entered volume production of LiPBs in October 2000, is set to expand its production lines from two to four by next year. Samsung said its monthly capacity would increase from 700,000 units to 1.7 million units. Including lithium-ion batteries, its capacity will amount to 7.2 million units a month. SKC, which started producing LiPB units in April, is capable of making 250,000 cells a month. By expanding its production lines in phases, SKC said it intends to obtain 200 billion won in sales from the battery division in 2005.

LG Chemical, which supplies LiPB products to mobile phones only, said it will expand capacity by 800,000 units to a monthly capacity of 1.3 million units. Also, the LG unit is set to double its rechargeable

battery capacity to seven million units by early next year to boost the capacity to 15 million units by 2005. The company is developing LiPB batteries for automobiles,

aiming toward 2006.