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BASF to expand production capacity for battery materials in China

At Da Changsha site in China, the new production lines are expected to start operation from the fourth quarter of 2022.

BASF Shanshan Battery Materials (BSBM), a BASF majority-owned company in China, is commissioning of new capacity for cathode active materials (CAM) to meet the increasing local and global demands of the EV industry. The expansion project will enable BSBM to achieve 100 kt annual capacity for CAM, the company has said.

The additional capacity will come into the picture starting from Q4 next year. BASF says 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 nickel-cobalt-manganese oxide (NCM) to polycrystalline and single-crystalline, as well as manganese-rich NCM products.

The manganese-rich products are already manufactured on a multi-ton scale in the company's facilities in China. This progress in material development will be further accelerated, thus broadening the use of such products by customers, it adds.

"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.

Further, the new lines are equipped with innovative 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, Senior Vice President of BASF Battery Materials and Chairman of the Board of BSBM.

Embedding the Smart Factory concept for automated, intelligent, and sustainable plants, the expansion projects have implemented industry-leading standards in process design, production environment management, and dust control to meet the critical qualification requirements in the battery materials industry and at the same time enable high throughput with outstanding quality.

"We have been continuously upgrading BSBM's manufacturing and environmental protection facilities to meet world-class standards", said Jay Yang, CEO of BSBM. 

"We are continuing to execute our company's commitment to our customers and employees to make BSBM a more environmentally friendly and responsible CAM producer".

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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