POSCO Holdings decided to invest in the second stage of a salt water lithium commercialization factory in Argentina, the company said on Oct. 18.
POSCO Holdings reported the second investment business on Oct. 7 to its board and they approved the production of lithium hydroxide with salt water in Argentina. POSCO Holdings decided to start the second stage of the business now instead of next year due to increased demand for lithium at home and by foreign customers amid booming investment in secondary battery sector with the start of IRA from the United States.
The total amount of the investment is about $1.09 billion (about 1.5 trillion won), and financing will be conducted by POSCO Argentina and a newly established domestic corporation.
This investment is equal to 25,000t of lithium hydroxide, and a factory will be built on a salt lake in Argentina, and the production of lithium carbonate for lithium hydroxide for use in final battery manufacturing will begin in the first half of next year and will be completed in the second half of 2025.
The 25,000t of lithium hydroxide produced by the second business is on the scale of 600,000 electronic vehicle units, and it will be supplied to POSCO Chemical and domestic companies.
POSCO Holdings has a plan to speed up investment in the third and fourth stages for early production of 100,000 tons per year of salt water lithium in Argentina to solve the problem of customers’ insufficient supply. Engaging in business of salt water and ore based lithium, waste battery recycling, and so on, POSCO Holdings aims to enter the global top 3 with a production system of 300,000 tons by 2030.
POSCO Group acquired the salt lake in Argentina in advance and the Montgomery & Associates, a global consulting firm specialized in salt water lithium, verified that the estimated deposits of lithium at the lake amounts to 13.5 million tons, six-fold the amount that was initially estimated before the acquisition.