IONWAY: Umicore-PowerCo JV aims sustainable CAM, pCAM production in Europe
Umicore and Volkswagen Group-backed battery company PowerCo have recently announced their joint venture - IONWAY - meant for large-scale industrial production of sustainable battery materials for electric vehicles such as CAM and pCAM in Europe.
Headquartered in Brussels, the new venture is designed to supply PowerCo's European battery cell factories with key battery materials and cover a large part of PowerCo's EU demand, while providing Umicore with secured access to an important part of the European demand for EV cathode materials, according to its parent companies.
They claim that IONWAY's annual production capacity is expected to reach 160 GWh by the end of this decade, corresponding to 2.2 million BEVs.
Moreover, the battery materials company has also chosen to build its first CAM production plant in Nysa, Poland, adjacent to Umicore's existing CAM plant. It is said that the facility will benefit from Umicore's CAM knowhow and easy access to raw materials from Umicore's refining operations in Finland.
"IONWAY is a start-up with a significant head start, because our partnership is built on solid foundations with Volkswagen's PowerCo and Umicore, key players in the electric mobility transformation", commented Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore. "IONWAY will no doubt grow into an industry reference in e-mobility, boosting innovation, creating hundreds of highly skilled jobs and make the energy transition happen", he added.
Speaking on the JV's proposed CAM plant in Poland, Mathias said that it marks the operational first step of IONWAY and "an important step in the expansion of Umicore's European local-for-local integrated battery materials value chain."
PowerCo CPO Jörg Teichmann said, "Through IONWAY, PowerCo reaches another milestone of our strategy to vertically integrate the battery supply chain. Together with our trusted partner Umicore, we source our own key cell production materials at reasonable prices".
He added that secure access allows PowerCo to supply cost-competitive battery cells to Volkswagen Group for years to come ‒ enabling its brands to offer attractive, affordable EVs to its customers.
Production of the proposed CAM plant is expected to begin as soon as construction is completed, while PowerCo´s CAM demand for the Salzgitter cell gigafactory is secured from the existing production capacity of Umicore in Nysa in time for its start of production in 2025, according to the partners.