EV batteries: LG Chem/Huayou Cobalt tie-up for EV battery materials; Nippon Shokubai/Arkema to mass-produce LiFSI electrolyte salts for European battery supply chain

LG Chem/Huayou Cobalt tie-up for EV battery materials

South Korean chemical firm LG Chem will enter into a joint venture with Chinese miner Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. in a bid to strengthen its supply of raw materials for electric vehicle batteries. LG Chem said the joint venture will have an investment of US$434 million and is planned for 2025. Huayou will acquire a 49% stake in the joint venture firm through its subsidiary.

The joint venture will produce nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminium -- cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries used in EVs -- with the start of mass production aimed for 2024.

The production line will have a capacity of more than 60,000 tonnes, sufficient to make batteries for some 500,000 all-electric cars.

The joint venture will help LG Chem secure the supplies of the key metals vital to cathodes production amid a rise in global raw material costs and help the Chinese firm make inroads into a foreign market, it said.

Nippon Shokubai/Arkema to mass-produce LiFSI electrolyte salts for European battery supply chain

Meanwhile in other news, Japanese catalyst supplier Nippon Shokubai and French materials firm Arkema are joining forces to launch feasibility studies and establish a joint venture for the construction of an industrial plant for the production of LiFSI (Lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide) ultrapure electrolyte salts, a key component of battery cells for electric mobility.

Ultrapure and high performance LiFSI electrolyte salts, a key component of car battery cells, will speed up the development of new electrolyte formulations for the next generations of batteries, including semi-solid and solid state batteries, by significantly increasing their power, stability, cycle life and recyclability, while reducing charging time in high or low temperature conditions.

This industrial project will support the development of the European battery value chain and participate in the global need for carbon-neutral mobility.

Combining Arkema’s fluorochemicals expertise and Nippon Shokubai’s know-how in the industrial-scale production of high-purity LiFSI, both partners have joined forces in a strategic partnership that has led to the development of an innovative and integrated process. Based on this patented technology, a LiFSI fluorinated pilot production line has been installed on the Pierre-Bénite site and successfully came on stream in 2021.

To support the exponential growth in demand for battery cell materials, Arkema and Nippon Shokubai are taking a step forward by launching feasibility studies and establishing a joint venture to enable the mass-production of LiFSI electrolyte salts at Arkema’s Pierre-Bénite site in France by end-2025.


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