BASF subsidiary expands cathode material production capacity to meet growing EV demand in China

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BASF Shanshan Battery Materials (BSBM), a BASF majority-owned company in China, is expanding its battery materials capacity in Changsha, Hunan Province, and Shuizuishan, Ningxia Province, to meet what it states is fast-growing local and global demand from the electric vehicle (EV) industry.

The expansion project will enable BSBM to achieve 100,000 tons annual capacity for cathode active materials (CAM). The new production lines are designed with high flexibility to produce an advanced product portfolio and meet customers’ diversified needs, from high-nickel and ultra-high-nickel, through to nickel-cobalt-manganese oxide (NCM) for polycrystalline and single crystalline, as well as manganese-rich NCM products.

“Our manganese-rich products are well balanced in cost-performance compared to other ternary cathode materials and offer customers a higher security on lower metal cost as manganese is the most abundantly available metal compared to cobalt or nickel, which have recently been subject to significant price increases and fluctuations,” said Dr Peter Schuhmacher, president, Catalysts division at BASF.

The new lines are equipped with energy recovery technologies including off-gas, waste heat and oxygen recycling. This is the first time that such technologies have been used in the battery industry and combine BSBM’s broad industrial operation experience with BASF’s chemical process design know-how.

“With the synergy on technology expertise in R&D and production, we are glad to see that BASF’s chemical know-how will be a catalyst to contribute to a more sustainable CAM offering with an industry-leading carbon footprint,” added Dr Michael Baier, SVP of BASF Battery Materials and chairman of the Board of BSBM.

The commissioning of the new lines will start from the Q4 2022.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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