LS Cable partners with VAC to launch joint venture specializing in rare earth magnets

By Park Sae-jin Posted : February 14, 2024, 16:02 Updated : February 14, 2024, 16:02
Courtesy of LS Eco Advanced Material
[Courtesy of LS Eco Advanced Material]

SEOUL -- South Korea's major cable company LS Cable & System has partnered with Vacuumschmelze, Europe's top company specializing in the development and production of magnetic materials, to establish a joint venture.

LS Cable specializes in the manufacturing and distribution of various cables and systems for a wide range of industries, including power transmission and distribution, telecommunications, and automotive sectors. The company is recognized as a leading player in the global market, particularly for its extra-high-voltage submarine cables.

Vacuumschmelze (VAC), based in Hanau, Germany, is the world's leading manufacturer of magnetic alloys and solutions. High-performance rare earth magnets, such as neodymium magnets, produced by VAC are used in electric vehicles (EVs) and other motor-based facilities, including power plant turbines and generators.

LS Eco Advanced Material, a subsidiary of LS Cable, which manufactures copper wires for motors used in Hyundai and Kia EVs, announced on February 14 that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with VAC to establish a joint venture for magnetic products by the end of 2024.

The joint venture aims to provide an annual shipment of 1,000 tons of neodymium magnets to global carmakers starting in 2027, sufficient to produce approximately 500,000 EVs. Apart from Chinese magnet makers, there are only about 10 companies worldwide that produce high-performance magnets for EV motors.

With the global EV market steadily growing, the demand for neodymium magnets is high. Industry experts predict that the demand for high-performance magnets for EV motors will increase from the current annual capacity of 150,000 tons to 400,000 tons by 2040.

"Based on LS Cable & Systems' non-ferrous metal processing technique, we plan to establish a rare earth magnet value chain with partner companies," LS Eco Advanced Material CEO Lee Sang-ho said.
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