SK On announced on January 18 that it has signed an agreement with Urbix to collaborate on developing new anode materials that not only offer a better performance but are also environment-friendly. SK On is a supplier for EV power batteries from South Korea, whereas Urbix is a graphite processor from the US.
Under the agreement, SK On and Urbix will jointly research and develop new anode materials. SK On will procure the successfully developed products from Urbix and use them at its battery manufacturing plants located in the US. The effective period of the agreement is two years but can be further extended.
Established in 2014 and headquartered in Arizona, Urbix specializes in processing natural graphite. The company has finished setting up a commercial pilot production line and configuring the equipment of the line. The line is capable of outputting 1,000 tons per year, and the company plans to upgrade it to 28,500 tons per year by 2025.
Urbix is recognized for its coated purified spherical graphite (CSPG). This material and the associated processing technology offers significant advantages in terms of product quality, production cost, energy consumption, production time, and facility space. CSPG is specifically designed for the anode of high-performance EV power batteries. Urbix is now rapidly expanding its production capacity as it aims to meet 30% of the graphite demand from EVs in the US and Europe by 2030.
SK On stated that it continues to strengthen its supply chain. In order to make the incoming flow of lithium materials more stable, SK On already inked supply agreements with Chile’s SQM and Australia’s Lake Resources and Global Lithium Resources in 2021.
SK On added that successes in its partnership with Urbix will extend and smooth out its local supply chain in North America. This, in turn, will improve the supply situation with respect to graphite and help rapidly scale up production. These benefits will then translate to improved competitiveness for the battery manufacturer.
This article is a translation of a Chinese article posted by TrendForce. It contains information that is either sourced from other news outlets or accessible in the public domain. Some Chinese names are transcribed into English using Hanyu Pinyin.