SEOUL -- South Korea launched a five-year state project to localize the production of magnesium-based ceramic materials to reduce its heavy dependence on imports. It is a principal fireproofing ingredient. Government data showed that Chinese and Japanese products accounted for more than 90 percent of South Korea's domestic demand that stood at 2640,000 tons in 2019.
Magnesium oxide (MgO) also known as magnesia with high resistance against heat and shock is normally processed to be used in the production of refractory products for steel mills or as the main material for electric vehicle battery heat sinks.
With a research fund of 22.9 billion won ($20.5 million) from 2021, the government will support the development of technology for the stable supply of magnesium-based ceramic materials, which have relied on China and Japan, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. China has supplied low-quality products and Japan high-quality products. There is only one domestic producer of magnesium oxide.
"We expect to strengthen the competitiveness of our industry such as steel, chemical and environment by stabilizing the supply of magnesium ceramic raw materials that have relied on imports," the ministry said in a statement on February 4, vowing to set up a supply channel using domestic resources such dolomite ores, seawater and waste refractories and develop high value-added application products.
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