BASF and CATL battery materials and recycling partnership for 'European raw materials supply chain'

by John Shepherd
BASF's CAM plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, is scheduled to start up next year. The facility will use precursors from BASF’s previously announced plant in Finland to supply around 400,000 fully electric vehicles every year with battery materials. Photo: BASF
German chemicals multinational BASF and Chinese automotive battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) have formed a cathode active materials and battery recycling partnership.

BASF said the companies have signed a framework agreement under which the lithium-ion batteries producer aims to develop a European battery recycling network and "a secure raw material supply chain” in the region.

The announcement comes days after CATL joined Eurobat – the Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers.

'Important step'

Dr Markus Kamieth, a member of BASF’s board of executive directors, said: "Pairing BASF’s strong position as a leading supplier for cathode active materials (CAM) with CATL’s expertise in lithium-ion batteries will speed up innovation and the formation of a sustainable battery value chain worldwide.”

CATL president Jia Zhou said the partnership was "another important step for our localisation journey in Europe”.

BASF, as a major chemical supplier to the automotive industry, said it has built up a "broad portfolio of mid- to high-nickel, manganese-rich, cobalt-free CAM”.

Cell development

BASF’s deal with CATL follows the chemical group’s selection earlier this year as the exclusive cell development partner for next generation Li-ion batteries for Porsche’s majority-owned Cellforce Group.

Meanwhile, CATL is continuing development of its first European production base for lithium-ion automotive batteries at Arnstadt, in Thuringia, east-central Germany.

CATL aims to achieve an annual production capacity of 14 GWh at the former Solarworld site by 2022.

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