SK Nexilis Co., a South Korean copper foil producer, announced on Monday that it has reached an agreement with German battery manufacturer Varta A.G. to exclusively supply its product for Varta’s first mass production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
The company is also in discussions with Varta about a potential long-term supply contract that could span a period of five years or more, depending on the additional demand from Varta if it increases production.
SK Nexilis declined to provide further details about the contract, citing the terms of the agreement.
This supply deal follows SK Nexilis’ 1.4 trillion-won (US$1.07 billion) contract to supply copper foil to Northvolt A.B., the Swedish secondary battery producer and the biggest player in Europe.
Copper foil is an essential anode component used in lithium-ion battery cells for EVs.
SK Nexilis, a unit of South Korean chemical materials maker SKC Co., has the technology to manufacture the world’s thinnest copper foil — about one-thirtieth the thickness of a human hair — and the widest at 1.4 meters and the longest at up to 77 kilometers.
Established in 1887, Varta has been a major player in the industrial and consumer battery markets, and lately has been making strides towards advancing into the EV battery sector. It has attracted more than 300 million euros (US$330 million) in funding from investors, including the German government, for its expansion into the EV battery segment.