South Korea’s L&F breaks into European cathode market with $6.8B deal

May. 21, 2024

High-nickel NCMA

L&F, a major supplier of cathode active materials (“CAMs”) out of South Korea, has been awarded a $6.8B contract to an undisclosed European cell producer.

L&F will supply 176 kt of CAM from January 2025 through December 2030. The deal marks the first time a Korean company has entered into a CAM supply agreement with a European customer.

The Korean Economic Daily Global rumored the deal involved Northvolt, Europe’s largest EV battery maker, by deducing that Northvolt is the only company that can make use of that volume of CAM. Furthermore, L&F and Northvolt were expected to sign a broader $15B deal, as announced in October 2023.

L&F flagship product is a high-nickel NCMA cathode, with 77% of product going to LG Energy Solution and Tesla. The new deal is intended to diversify L&F’s customer base.

Adamas take:

The average 22 GWh/yr of cell production implied in 176 kt CAM could be deployed by a number of cell companies in Europe from 2025, however, given the buildup of datapoints pointing to an L&F-Northvolt tie-up, the rumor offers credibility.

The entrance of Korean CAM into Europe has been long anticipated. Geopolitically, the union makes sense, although logistics are challenging.

Chinese companies are increasingly opting to set up shop within Europe itself, as evidenced by the Hunan Yuneng news piece.

[Extract from the May issue of the EV Battery Lithium Monthly service.]


Image: L&F Technological Research Center 


Chris Williams, Analyst at Adamas Intelligence

Chris is an Analyst at Adamas Intelligence focused on the global lithium industry. He researches and analyzes the lithium value chain to uncover actionable opportunities for clients.

Chris has 11-years experience in mining and oil & gas operations optimization, delivering value from data intensive insight generation. He completed his Bachelor and Masters of Engineering at the University of Queensland, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and is currently completing a Masters of Business Administration at the University of British Columbia.



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