Korea Expands Electric Vehicle Battery Supply Chain Through African Partnerships


South Korea is seeking graphite from African nations as China increases export restrictions on this vital component for electric vehicle batteries. According to a statement from South Korea’s trade ministry on Monday, the country is focusing on Mozambique and Tanzania to mitigate potential deficits. This development follows China’s recent announcement to intensify export controls on certain types of graphite, citing reasons of national security and interests.

Being the top global producer of graphite, China’s decision has triggered concerns among key battery manufacturers in South Korea. Effective from December 1, China plans to classify specific grades of graphite as “dual-use item,” subject to stringent export controls.

South Korea plans to enhance top-tier diplomatic discussions with China, aiming to secure steady imports of graphite. This material is crucial for making anodes in EV batteries, a component of rechargeable cells. The statement from China was made shortly after the United States intensified initiatives to prevent the export of sophisticated chip technology to China. However, Beijing declared that these actions are not aimed at any particular nation.

The Ministry of Trade in South Korea stated that it intends to enhance high-level diplomatic talks with China to secure a stable supply of graphite imports. Additionally, efforts will be made to advance the start date of a domestic synthetic graphite production facility, which is currently set to begin operations next year. The country is also focusing on the advancement of silicon anodes as an alternative technology to graphite.

This development follows a meeting between South Korean officials and key figures from major battery industry firms, including LG Energy Solution, SK On, Samsung SDI, and Posco Future M. South Korea heavily depends on importing materials used in the manufacturing of various products, ranging from semiconductors to electric vehicle batteries.




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