Group14 Technologies, a global provider of silicon-carbon composite materials for lithium-ion markets, announces a joint venture with SK materials, one of the world’s top manufacturers of special gases and industrial gases, to build a factory for lithium-silicon battery materials in South Korea.
The joint venture is the latest development for Group14 to secure dual sourcing for its patented lithium-silicon technology, a critical measure to mitigate potential global supply chain disruptions to the battery market.
Based in South Korea, SK materials is a subsidiary of SK Group, one of the global leaders in electronics, digital displays, semiconductor devices, and more. As part of the joint venture, SK materials will invest $52 million in the development of a battery materials manufacturing hub in South Korea expected to launch in 2022.
“As one of the world’s largest global manufacturers, we recognize that we must pre-emptively address potential supply chain challenges to stay ahead of the demand,” said Kiseon Park, Vice President of SK materials. “We are excited to enter into a joint venture with the Group14 team to bring a high-performing battery material solution to market for a wide range of applications within our product portfolio and beyond.”
As demand for high-performing battery materials continues to skyrocket, the volatility of the global supply chain poses significant challenges for lithium-ion-powered industries such as consumer electronics, electric vehicles, medical devices and more. To mitigate supply chain disruptions, Group14’s new joint venture opens up the capability for dual sourcing for its lithium-silicon technology both from South Korea and its domestic Battery Active Materials (BAM) factory in Washington, which launched earlier this year.
The joint venture agreement comes on the heels of Group14’s $17 million Series B round in December 2020, which was led by SK materials. As a leading provider of anode battery materials, Group14’s breakthrough lithium-silicon technology, SCC55™, delivers dramatically more energy density per volume to meet the increasing global demand for high-performing lithium-ion-based storage.
“The battery market is expected to continue this tremendous growth trajectory globally, and the joint venture with SK will further strengthen our capacity to deliver our patented lithium-silicon battery technology to our customers,” said Rick Luebbe, CEO and co-founder of Group14 Technologies. “We are thrilled to take the first step towards establishing our first international factory to manufacture our lithium-silicon battery technology and truly enabling the electrification of everything globally.”