BASF has chosen Harjavalta in Finland as its first location for a production hub that will specialize in battery materials. The investment in this plant will be part of BASF’s USD 460 million multi-step investment plan. The plant will cater to the needs of the European automotive market.
The BASF factory will be built close to Norilsk Nickel’s nickel and cobalt refinery and the two companies will collaborate on the supply of raw materials for production of lithium-ion batteries in the future at the BASF factory. BASF had begun production of battery materials in Harjavalta this year and the planned factory will ramp up production further.
The hub is expected to become operational by late 2020, and is expected to produce enough battery material to meet the needs of about 300,000 full electric vehicles on an annual basis. The new factory will be powered through the use of locally-generated renewable energy sources, like hydro, wind and biomass.
BASF has also signed a long-term, market-based supply agreement with Nornickel for nickel and cobalt feedstock from Nornickel’s metal refinery.
BASF said: “The agreement will establish a locally sourced and secure supply of raw materials for battery production in Europe.”
Commenting on the new facility, Kenneth Lane, President, BASF’s Catalysts division, said that with the establishment of the production hub in Harjavalta, BASF will now have a presence in all major regions with local production and increased customer proximity in order to provide further support to the rapidly growing electric vehicle market.
He said, “Combined with our Nornickel cooperation, we are creating a strong platform that connects the efforts between industry leaders in raw material supply and battery materials technology and production.”
Jeffrey Lou, Senior Vice President, Battery Materials at BASF, said that the company’s high-nickel cathode materials will play a major role in delivering enhanced energy density and vehicle range to its customers.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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