Prayon and Pulead to create JV for manufacture and sale of lithium iron phosphate material for Li-ion batteries
Major cathode material producer Pulead (China) and phosphate leader Prayon (Belgium) have entered into an agreement to form a joint venture for the manufacture and sale of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) under licence from LiFePO4+C Licensing LLC. The two companies have also agreed to cooperate closely on other LFP-related raw material supply matters.
LiFePO4+C grants a limited number of sublicenses to suitable lithium iron phosphate (LFP)/lithium metal phosphate (LMP) producers who are capable of meeting market demand with high-quality products. In 2012, Prayon obtained a worldwide sublicense under a portfolio of key patents for the manufacture, sale and use of LMP, including LFP.
The joint venture will help meet the increasing global demand for licensed LFP. Even in the short term, demand far outstrips licensees’ production capacity. Global demand for LFP is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 30% between 2014 and 2020, mainly driven by industrial batteries, e-buses and e-cars. Lead acid’s replacement with LFP in batteries for micro-hybrid vehicles is set to trigger a further rise in demand from 2020 onwards, the partners said. All in all, market demand worldwide is expected to increase from 25,000 metric tonnes in 2015 to 100,000 tonnes in 2020.
Prayon is a fully integrated global phosphate producer headquartered in Belgium, with manufacturing operations in Belgium, France and the United States. Jointly owned by OCP (Morocco) and SRIW (Belgium), Prayon manufactures and markets an extensive range of purified phosphoric acids, phosphate salts and fluorine products that are used in food, fertilisers and a range of industrial applications. Prayon also manufactures lithium iron phosphate, a cathode material used in hybrid and electric vehicle batteries as well as stationary applications.
Established in 1999 by Oriental Investment Co. Ltd and Peking University, Pulead Technology Industry is one of China’s leading Li-ion battery cathode producers. Together with its JV subsidiary, Pride Power, which manufactures large-format battery packs for automotive and energy-storage applications, Pulead is becoming a major technology developer and material and pack supplier in China’s Li-ion battery supply chain.