Nov 11, 2021 - 01:37 pm

Johnson Matthey withdraws from battery business


The British chemical company Johnson Matthey has surprisingly announced its withdrawal from the business with battery materials for the automotive industry. Johnson Matthey cites growing competition as one of the reasons for its decision.

It has concluded that “the potential returns from our battery materials business will not be sufficient to justify further investment”, according to a company statement. The group therefore intends to sell all or part of its battery materials business. The decision was made “after a detailed review and prior to the achievement of a number of critical investment milestones”. Now that the decision has been made, Johnson Matthey intends to “act expeditiously to achieve the best outcome for all our stakeholders”, and intends to make a further announcement as soon as possible.

Johnson Matthey has been working for several years to commercialise a range of high nickel cathode materials – mainly for the automotive industry. As recently as April, the British company announced plans to build a new factory for the production of its nickel-rich eLNO cathode materials in Finland. This is to be built in Finland within the framework of a strategic partnership with the Finnish Minerals Group (FMG).

Construction of the new plant, which is designed for an annual output of 30,000 tonnes of cathode material, is to begin this year, it was announced in the spring. Additionally, the plant will complement production in Konin, central Poland, where Johnson Matthey has also heralded the construction of a manufacturing facility for cathode materials in 2019. In parallel to the announcement of the construction of the plant in Vaasa, Finland, the chemical company also made public in April that it had signed contracts with Nornickel and SQM for the long-term supply of raw materials for the production of battery materials.

Johnson Matthey writes that while demand for battery materials is growing, competition from alternative technologies and other manufacturers is also increasing. In recent months, as it has explored strategic partnerships, “it has also become clear that our capital intensity is too high compared with other more established large scale, low cost producers”.

JM, on the other hand, intends to continue ploughing other growth areas, such as hydrogen technology, the circular economy and decarbonisation of the chemical value chain. The British chemical company’s recycling initiatives include cooperation with OnTo Technology and Stena Recycling – both developers of battery recycling solutions.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Found on
11.11.2021 13:08