XTC New Energy Materials to build battery material factory in France

French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the Chinese company XTC New Energy Materials will build a battery factory in Dunkerque at the presentation of ProLogium’s plans to build a battery plant in the same location.

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XTC, together with the French industrial group Orano, is planning a 1.5 billion euro joint venture for the production of cathode material for lithium-ion batteries, he said.

Macron stated: “We just signed, with a joint venture between XTC and Orano, a second investment for the production of cathode material in lithium batteries.” He further added that the venture would create 1,700 jobs in the region.

Just last week, the French president announced new EV subsidies, similar in format to the US American Inflation Reduction Act, which promises significant financial support for EV and battery manufacturers and supply chain, but also levies production conditions to support local business. “We will be the first European country to reform the criteria for the allocation of the car bonus,” said French President Emmanuel Macron. “This doesn’t mean that we are protectionist, we are not going to close the market, but we don’t want to use the French taxpayers’ money to accelerate non-European industrialisation.”

XTC New Energy Materials is a battery company founded in 2016 and based in the port city of Xiamen on the southeast coast of China. It has so far been active with research and development as well as production and sales of cathode materials almost exclusively within China. The Orano Group is a Paris-based industrial group majority-owned by the French government. Orano emerged from the Areva Group, which was split up as of 2017, and is intrinsically specialized in nuclear engineering equipment and fuels.

For its part, ProLogium’s plans had originally been revealed in March of this year, and were now officially confirmed by the Taiwanese solid-state battery manufacturer.

Update 17 May 2023

A few days after the announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron, the industrial group Orano has given details of the planned cathode material factory with the Chinese battery material specialist XTC New Energy Materials. According to the statement, two joint production facilities and a research and development centre are planned in Dunkerque in northern France by 2026. One plant, which will be majority-owned by XTC, will be dedicated to the production of cathode active materials for electric vehicle batteries, and another, which will be majority-owned by Orano, will be dedicated to the production of precursors for these cathode materials, such as cobalt, nickel, manganese and lithium.

In addition, Orano plans to build its own battery recycling plant near these two facilities. A total of 1.5 billion euros is to be invested in the plants. There are no details yet on the targeted production volumes. As far as the research and development centre is concerned, the only general statement so far is that products “adapted to the needs of the French and European automotive industry” will be developed there.

“We are proud of these agreements, which see Orano and XTC New Energy combine their strengths and know-how to contribute to the development of a new industrial sector in France,” said Philippe Knoche, CEO of Orano. “This partnership confirms our determination to position Orano as a key industrial player in the energy transition and circular economy.”

Huang Changgeng, Chairman of XTC Group, added, “These agreements reflect our desire to combine our complementary skills in order to contribute to the development of less polluting electric mobility in Europe and France, in keeping with our shared goals for decarbonizing energy.”

reuters.com, businesswire.com (update)


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