Indorama and Capchem Eye EV Battery Market

02.08.2022 - Thai-headquartered petrochemicals and polyester giant Indorama Ventures (IVL) and Capchem USA, a subsidiary of China’s Shenzhen Capchem Technology, are reviewing options for jointly building and operating a carbonate plant to supply the North American lithium-ion battery market.

Given the trend to electric vehicles, a new plant would “significantly benefit” the North American lithium-ion battery market, which currently depends on imports from Asia, the companies said.

The proposed facility to be built at one of IVL’s petrochemical sites on the US Gulf Coast would produce ethylene carbonate and its chemical derivatives, essential components of the electrolyte solutions that go into the lithium-ion batteries used to power electric vehicles.

The companies noted that the markets for both the vehicles and batteries are experiencing “significant growth.” Capchem is a global leader in the sector.

Together with Capchem, IVL’s Integrated Oxides and Derivatives (IOD) segment will assess the opportunity to build a plant using the Chinese company’s established technology to produce ultra-pure ethylene carbonate, di-methyl carbonate, ethyl methyl carbonate, di-ethyl carbonate.

The Indorama group would supply key raw materials such as purified ethylene oxide and carbon dioxide from its integrated supply network as part of its strategy to enhance end-market exposure, technologies and downstream portfolio breadth.

The study also is said to include an option to build a second module to meet the expected growth in demand.

Entering the market as a competitive new player would reinforce IOD’s transition toward downstream specialty products and increase opportunities in attractive end-market applications, IVL said.

Under its Vision 2030 motto, the Thai group said it is building on its global integrated petrochemicals model through investing in related businesses that offer high value-added, sustainable products and derivatized electrolyte solutions.

Alastair Port, executive president, IOD, noted that IVL is “constantly looking” for ways to enhance its sustainability programs. The joint study, he said, also will support the adoption of zero-emission electric mobility.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist