BASF to Inject $5B into Battery Materials Business

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The chemicals firm plans to make major investments in its e-mobility offerings over the next eight years.

German chemicals firm BASF revealed plans Tuesday to invest €4.5 million (about $5 billion) in its battery materials business over the next eight years in a bid to strengthen its position in the e-mobility market. The funds will be used to increase BASF’s production capacity footprint for sustainable cathode active materials in Asia, North America, and Europe.

The recently announced long-term battery materials strategy lays out an ambitious growth plan for battery materials and base metal services with targeted 2030 sales in excess of €7 billion,” Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, president of the company’s Catalysts division, said in a release. “To implement its growth plan, BASF targets investments worth €3.5 billion to €4.5 billion between 2022 and 2030 in battery materials.”

In addition to the planned increase in capacity, BASF also announced that it is forming a standalone entity, BASF Automotive Catalysts and Recycling, that will specialize in battery materials and recycling and related precious metals services. The separation is intended to position the company to take advantage of changes in the combustion engine market.

“BASF continuously evaluates its portfolio and with the carve-out we want to give this business more entrepreneurial freedom and agility, so it can focus even better on the needs of its markets and customers,” said Dr. Markus Kamieth, member of BASF SE’s board of executive directors, in a statement.

The carve out process is slated to begin next January. Once completed, the standalone business will operate 20 production sites across a global footprint. Its headquarters will be located in Iselin, NJ.

BASF is one of several major chemical firms that are looking to increase their foothold in the battery materials market. Arkema and DuPont, for example, are currently working to increase their capacities for materials used in lithium ion batteries found in electric vehicles and other mobility solutions.

Allied Market Research recently forecast that the global market for battery materials will grow from $45.6 billion in 2020 to more than $80 million by 2030.

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