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South Korean Apro Accelerates Expansion in US Battery Market, Supplying Ultium Cells Amid Rising Demand

Battery equipment company Apro has begun exporting equipment for Ultium Cells’ second factory, with equipment for the third factory on standby. Ultium Cells is a joint venture between LG Energy Solutions and General Motors (GM), and currently operates one plant.

Apro announced that it has started supplying battery equipment to Ultium Cells’ second factory, after a final inspection at their R&D center in Siheung-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. This is the first shipment of activation equipment for the second plant. Apro previously entered the US market by supplying activation equipment to Ultium Cells’ Ohio Plant 1.

The equipment order from Ultium Cells is worth $75.5 million. Apro’s entry into the US market was identified as a future growth engine when the company was listed on the KOSDAQ market in July 2020. Apro’s growth is heavily influenced by LG Energy Solutions’ investment expansion in North America, with plans for three Ultium Cells plants in Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. By 2026, the annual production capacity, including joint ventures with Honda and Stellantis, is expected to reach 300 gigawatt hours (GWh).

Last year, Apro recorded a 29% increase in sales, reaching $59.9 million, with an order backlog of about $136 million. The company is expected to turn an annual profit as initial investments in its US subsidiary are completed.

Apro is also developing gallium nitride (GaN) power semiconductors and wafers to strengthen existing equipment technology and expand application fields. They plan to complete mass production tests through a foundry company in Singapore in the first half of the year, with partial mass production expected in the second half. In Korea, Apro is jointly developing an 8-inch GaN process with DB Hitech.

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