BASF to Make EV Battery Materials at Schwarzheide

  • BASF to Make EV Battery Materials at Schwarzheide (c) BASFBASF to Make EV Battery Materials at Schwarzheide (c) BASF

BASF has selected its Schwarzheide site in eastern Germany, as the location for a new plant to produce cathode active materials (CAM) for electric vehicles. The facility’s initial capacity will enable the supply of around 400,000 full electric vehicles per year, the German chemicals giant said, adding that its innovative materials increase the performance of the batteries. 

The German plant at Schwarzheide will use precursors (PCAM) from BASF’s previously announced plant in Harjavalta, Finland. Both are scheduled to start up in 2022 and offer customers reliable access to tailored high-nickel cathode active materials in proximity to their European manufacturing facilities, said Peter Schuhmacher, president of the Ludwigshafen group’s Catalysts division.

Schuhmacher said BASF will be the first CAM supplier with local production capacities in the three major markets of Asia, the US and Europe and will have a reliable, sustainable and European-based supply chain comprised of base metals (particularly nickel and cobalt), precursors and cathode materials within one region.

With its modular design and infrastructure the Schwarzheide site is said to be well suited for the rapid scale-up of manufacturing capacities, enabling BASF to meet increasing customer demand from the European electric vehicle market.

The eastern Germany site currently operates an energy-efficient gas and steam turbine power plant that features combined heat and power generation. Ahead of the battery plant’s start-up, renewable energies are planned to be integrated into the mix.

In Finland, the Harjavalta plant also will utilize renewable energy resources, including hydro, wind and biomass power. This advantageous mix will provide CAM material with a very low CO2 footprint, BASF said.

The German group said the investments in Finland and Germany underscore its support of the EU Commission’s agenda for a European battery production value chain and are part of the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) approved by the Commission in December last year.

BASF’s battery facilities will qualify for EU investment under the program supported by seven member states, including Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden.

Up to 2031, altogether €3.2 billion in funding will be made available to support research and innovation in the European priority area of batteries. The funds are expected to trigger an additional €5 billion in private investment.

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