ICL is building an LFP battery plant in Missouri

The Israeli chemical company ICL (formerly Israel Chemicals) has begun construction of a factory for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) in St. Louis in the US state of Missouri. The plant will produce LFP cathode material for battery cells for use in electric cars, among other things, from 2025.

The background to the construction of the plant in the USA is not only the Inflation Reduction Act with its well-known subsidies (more on this in a moment). ICL wants to use the LFP materials factory as the basis for the company’s global battery materials business. ICL is already active in other lines of business in North America, and the new plant will also be built on ICL’s existing Carondelet campus in St. Louis.

Annual production of 30,000 tonnes is planned. The US government is subsidising the 400 million dollar plant with 197 million dollars – that is the equivalent of 364 million euros in calculated total costs and a subsidy sum of 179 million euros.

ICL is cooperating with Aleees, a Taiwanese manufacturer and licensor of LFP cathode materials, to establish an LFP supply chain for customers in the USA. Whether ICL will also produce the cathode material under Aleees licence is not confirmed in detail in the announcement, but is likely given the cooperation with the local supply chain.

The Israeli company describes LFP as “one of the fastest growing sectors of the battery industry”, especially in terms of safety and cost.ICL projects that there will be global demand for more than three million tonnes of LFP cathode materials in 2031. Based on current projections, this equates to a market value of more than $40 billion.

“ICL is excited to be building the first North American, commercial-scale plant for this critical component required by the energy-storage, mobility and infrastructure end-markets, and we’re proud to make this investment in St. Louis and to create more than 150 high-paying union and professional positions in our hometown,” Phil Brown, president of the company’s phosphate division and ICL’s managing director for North America.

ICL produces fertilisers, metals and other speciality materials. The company thus has experience with metals and phosphates – albeit so far for other applications.



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