Lotte Energy Materials, a subsidiary of South Korea’s Lotte Chemical, plans to invest KRW560bn (US$430m) in a plant in Spain making copper foil for lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).

Copper foil is a key component of anodes.

The factory would be built near the Catalonian town of Mont-Roig del Camp and have initial capacity for 30,000 tons of high end copper foil per year.

Construction was scheduled to begin in the second half of 2023 with the plant operational in 2025.

Lotte Energy Materials, formerly known as Iljin Materials Company, said the site it had acquired in Mont-Roig del Camp had potential to accommodate capacity of 100,000 tons per year.

It has a copper foil plant in Iksan, South Korea with capacity of 60,000 tons.

Its only overseas plant so far is in Malaysia and being expanded from 40,000 to 60,000 tons.

The company has targeted copper foil production capacity of 240,000 tons per year worldwide by 2028, to claim a 30% share of the global high end copper foil market.

It competes head on with South Korean copper foil manufacturer SK Nexilis which has announced similar growth targets.