Düsseldorf, May 12, 2022

SMS group to supply a Peirce-Smith Converter for converting nickel matte for the production of batteries to SNNC in South Korea

Key equipment unit for producing nickel-based batteries

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Signing of the contract between SNNC and SMS group GmbH for the delivery of a Peirce-Smith converter.
  • Nickel and its sulfate for high-performance batteries
  • Huge step towards sustainable electro mobility
  • Joint effort within SMS group in terms of Circular Economy and battery production

Electro mobility and the transition to green energy are only possible with the development and application of highly efficient battery technologies. The nickel content of these high-performance batteries is steadily growing. Most of this nickel and nickel sulfate is produced by refining ferronickel, which is commonly produced in submerged arc furnaces.

SMS group has received an order from SNNC ̶ a joint venture between SMSP and POSCO  ̶ in South Korea to supply a Peirce-Smith Converter (PSC), in which the ferronickel from the Gwangyang plant will be converted to nickel matte (a nickel-sulfite phase) to lower the iron content. The nickel matte is then hydrometallurgical processed into nickel and nickel sulphate in POSCO's neighboring battery plant. The Peirce-Smith converter to be supplied by SMS is one of the key units in this overall process chain and converts the ferronickel efficiently into high-quality nickel matte using special underbath nozzles and a liquid sulfur injection system.

In 2011, SMS delivered the world's largest submerged arc furnace for the production of ferronickel to SNNC in Gwangyang, South Korea, a global player in steel market.

In addition to the PSC, SMS will supply the liquid sulfur injection system, the design and engineering of the off-gas hoods, as well as the metallurgical process.

This pioneering technology will set new standards in nickel production for the rapidly growing battery market. SMS is proud that we can make an important contribution to the efficient production of nickel-based batteries.

The plant will go on stream in 2023, and SNNC plans to produce 21,000 tons of nickel per year by this project.

SMS group is renowned worldwide for its future-oriented technologies and outstanding service for the metals industry. The company applies its 150 years of experience and its digital know-how to provide the industry continuously with innovative products and processes – even beyond its core business – and generates worldwide sales of more than 2.7 billion euros. SMS is the right partner for challenging projects, and supports its customers throughout the lifecycle of their plants, enabling profitable and resource-efficient value creation chains. Paving the way for a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry is the company’s stated goal. As a global player with German roots, SMS takes responsibility for its about 14,000 employees.


SMSgroup Sagermann, Thilo

Thilo Sagermann
Corporate Communications / Press contact
Phone : +49 211 881 4449

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