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SK Ecoplant mulls selling stake in U.S. battery recycling firm

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SEOUL, May 29 (Yonhap) — SK Ecoplant Co., the construction arm of South Korea’s chip-to-battery conglomerate SK Group, said Wednesday it is considering selling its entire stake in a U.S. battery recycling firm for investment gains.

In the 2022-2023 period, SK Ecoplant invested 83.1 billion won (US$60.84 million) in a 13.09 percent stake in Ascend Elements, which makes sustainable electric vehicle (EV) battery cathode material using elements from discarded lithium-ion batteries.

The company acquired the stake in the U.S. firm as a strategic investor with the aim of strengthening its presence in the U.S. battery recycling market, a company spokesperson said over the phone.

“We are considering several options, including the stake sale, (regarding our investment in Ascend Elements)” he said without elaborating.

Ascend Elements’ corporate value reportedly jumped three to four times compared to 2022 to 2 trillion won due to its advanced battery recycling technology in the upcoming era of EVs.

The headquarters of SK Ecoplant Co. in central Seoul (Yonhap)

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