BASF and CATL have announced a strategic partnership in the field of battery materials solutions. The cooperation focuses on active cathode materials and battery recycling while supporting CATL’s localization strategy in Europe and BASF’s globalisation efforts.
For CATL, this is taking concrete form in the plant currently under construction near Erfurt, Germany. On a more global note, according to BASF, the framework agreement now signed is to “accelerate the achievement of global carbon neutrality goals”, and the German supplier considers this a chance to “closely work with a globally leading battery producer on CAM and battery recycling”. Specifically, the partners want to develop a sustainable battery value chain, using both their facilities in Europe.
“Pairing BASF’s strong position as a leading supplier for cathode active materials with CATL’s expertise in lithium-ion batteries will speed up innovation and the formation of a sustainable battery value chain worldwide,” said Dr Markus Kamieth, Member of BASF’s Board of Executive Directors.
BASF is currently building its cathode materials factory in Schwarzheide, Germany, with the plant scheduled to go on stream in early 2022. According to BASF, the new plant will produce battery materials for more than 400,000 electric vehicles per year. In Schwarzheide, precursors from BASF’s previously announced plant in Harjavalta, Finland, will be further processed using “world-leading process technology.”
Adjacent to the production, BASF is also constructing a recycling pilot plant in Schwarzheide, also scheduled to come on stream in 2022 and designed to make BASF “the leading lithium-ion battery recycler for the automotive industry.” Recycling processes for extracting lithium will initially be tested in Schwarzheide to apply in large-scale plants later.
“The partnership with BASF is another important step for our localization journey in Europe,” said Zhou Jia, President of CATL. “With CATL’s innovative battery technology and BASF’s deep materials expertise, we will further enhance our capability to support our worldwide customers and accelerate the global drive towards carbon neutrality.”
CATL is not the first big-name partner for BASF’s Schwarzheide facilities, although the Chinese are likely to come in at higher volumes. A partnership has existed since July with Cellforce, the battery joint venture between Porsche and Customcells, for high-energy NCM cathode materials and the recycling of production waste.
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