Yonhap. South Korea will invest up to 15 trillion won (US$12.4 billion) in the next 10 years to become the world’s dominant producer of rechargeable batteries.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Ministry of Educational Science and Technology said the new “Battery 2020 Project” aims to pool resources from both the state and private sector to gain control of the rapidly expanding industrial sector.
As of 2009, South Korean, Japanese and Chinese companies controlled 95 percent of the global production with Japan’s Sanyo holding onto 20 percent of the market followed by Samsung SDI Co. and LG Chem Ltd. controlling 19 percent of worldwide production each. This was followed by a 12 percent market share for Sony and 7 percent for China’s BYD.
Samsung SDI and LG Chem control 38% of the current market, according to a minister, but the local parts and technology for those represent less than 20%. One aim of the Battery 2020 project is to boost local sourcing for parts and materials, and further develop local technologies to boost competitiveness and growth.
Government officials predicted that there will be up to 10 globally competitive local battery manufacturers in the next decade.
(A hat-tip to Jack!)