BASF further invests in Europe to strengthen global leadership position for battery materials for electric vehicles

  • BASF announces Schwarzheide, Germany, as location for cathode active material production in Europe
  • Battery materials plants in Germany and Finland will utilize an industry leading energy mix lowering CO2 emissions across the value chain

BASF is announcing a new battery materials production site in Schwarzheide, Germany, as part of its multi-step investment plan to support the European electric vehicle (EV) value chain. This state-of-the art plant will produce cathode active materials (CAM) with an initial capacity enabling the supply of around 400,000 full electric vehicles per year with BASF battery materials. Innovative cathode materials by BASF increase the performance of batteries, promoting the success of climate-friendly mobility.

BASF’s production site Schwarzheide is located in the Lausitz region of southern Brandenburg, Germany, and is one of the company’s largest production sites in Europe. A state-of-the art plant for the production of cathode materials is to be built at this site in 2022. The plant will initially run on energy from the highly efficient CHP plant (left) and will also use renewable energy in the future. All captions courtesy by BASF

The Schwarzheide plant’s modular design and infrastructure allows for the rapid scale-up of manufacturing capacities enabling BASF to meet increasing customer demand for the European EV market. The plant in Schwarzheide will use precursors (PCAM) from BASF’s previously announced plant in Harjavalta, Finland. Startup of the two plants is planned for 2022.

“The plants in Finland and Germany will offer our customers reliable access to tailored high-nickel cathode active materials in proximity to their European manufacturing facilities,” said Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, President, Catalysts division at BASF. With these investments in Finland and Germany, BASF will be the first CAM supplier with local production capacities in today’s three major markets – Asia, the U.S. and Europe. BASF will become the leading supplier with a reliable, sustainable and European-based supply chain which will comprise base metal supply, particularly nickel and cobalt, precursor production, and cathode material production within one region.

BASF Experts at work in Schwarzheide

The site in Schwarzheide uses an energy-efficient gas and steam turbine power plant that operates on the principle of combined heat and power generation. It is currently being modernized to further increase its eco-efficiency. Until the battery materials plant is commissioned, the integration of renewable energies is also planned. The Harjavalta plant will utilise renewable energy resources, including hydro, wind and biomass-based power. This advantageous energy mix will provide CAM material with a very low CO2 footprint.

Globally, BASF is conducting research on innovative cathode materials for high-performance lithium-ion batteries that make electromobility a reality. The cathode materials usually consist of mixed metal oxides.

The investments in Harjavalta, Finland, and Schwarzheide, Germany, reinforce BASF’s support of the European Commission’s agenda towards a European battery production value chain and are part of the “Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI)” that was approved by the European Commission on December 9, 2019 under the European Union state aid rules.

To learn more about BASF Battery Materials and BASF’s commitment to e-mobility, visit our website: https://catalysts.basf.com/products-and-industries/battery-materials

You can find TV footage and additional photo material of BASF’s battery material research and production sites in our TV-service and photo pool (please choose “battery” as search term).

BASF’s Catalysts division is the world’s leading supplier of environmental and process catalysts. The group offers exceptional expertise in the development of technologies that protect the air we breathe, produce the fuels that power our world and ensure efficient production of a wide variety of chemicals, plastics and other products, including advanced battery materials. By leveraging our industry-leading R&D platforms, passion for innovation and deep knowledge of precious and base metals, BASF’s Catalysts division develops unique, proprietary solutions that drive customer success.

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