South Korea's LG Chem to set up battery material JVs with China's Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Chem Ltd 051910.KS said on Wednesday it had agreed to build two joint ventures with China's Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt 603799.SS to lock in supplies of cobalt for lithium-ion batteries.

The plan comes as South Korean companies step up efforts to secure battery metals including cobalt to meet rising demand for electric vehicles.

Huayou Cobalt confirmed the arrangements.

Under the deal, LG Chem said it would raise a total of 239.4 billion won ($224.8 million) by 2020 to set up precursor and cathode joint ventures in China.

The joint ventures are expected to start producing 40,000 tonnes a year of precursors and cathodes from 2020, the South Korean battery maker said in the statement.

LG Chem said it plans to use precursor and cathode materials produced from the joint ventures for its battery plants in China and Poland.

Reporting by Ju-min Park and Jane Chung; Editing by Stephen Coates