Mumbai-headquartered Epsilon Advanced Materials (EAM) has finalized the acquisition of a lithium-ion phosphate (LFP) cathode active material technology center in Moosburg, Germany, becoming the first global company capable of providing manufacturers with both cathode and anode materials for lithium-ion batteries.
With the purchase, EAM is poised to make India the first country in Asia outside of China to manufacture LFP cathode materials.
EAM is scheduled to break ground on its facility in India in 2024 to build a large-scale customer qualification plant in 2025, which will scale up to 100,000 tons by 2030.
“This acquisition reaffirms our commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions to the evolving EV battery market,” said Vikram Handa, managing director of EAM. “The advanced technology center in Moosburg strategically positions us to lead the industry in cathode material manufacturing.”
EAM’s acquisition of the cathode active material technology center from Johnson Matthey will reduce the battery market’s reliance on China. Approximately 70% of cathode materials, and 100% of LFP cathode, for lithium-ion batteries are currently produced in China.
Epsilon Advanced Materials previously announced INR 9,000 crore ($1,085.5 million) investment for the establishment of an anode battery materials manufacturing facility in Bellari, Karnataka, India. EAM also plans to build a $650 million graphite anode material manufacturing facility in Brunswick County, North Carolina, USA, and is investing Euro 600 million to develop a graphite processing facility in Vaasa, Finland.
“We are proud to announce that EAM is now ready to go to market with a proven high-performance cathode active material, marking a significant leap forward in our capabilities,” said CEO Sunit Kapur. “Integrating the cathode expertise from the Moosburg technology center with our anode business uniquely positions us to deliver comprehensive solutions to customers, delivering anode and cathode to empower them to optimize the performance of their batteries.”
Battery manufacturers are increasingly transitioning to LFP cathode, which has a longer life span, offers improved discharge and charge efficiency, provides better performance in higher temperatures, and is less expensive than other cathode materials, such as nickel and cobalt. It is also maintenance-free, extremely safe, and lightweight.
The Moosburg facility greatly reduces EAM’s technology development and scale-up timeframe. The center is equipped to produce LFP and lithium manganese iron phosphate (LMFP) cathode in small laboratory-scale batches to up pilot-scale material. It features a versatile pilot customer qualification plant designed to validate new materials and utilizes a Hydrothermal process that provides a cleaner metal processing solution, which results in a more environmentally friendly battery-metals supply chain.
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