BASF will build a new battery materials production site in Schwarzheide, Germany, as part of its multi-step investment plan to support the European electric vehicle (EV) value chain. BASF’s production site Schwarzheide is located in the Lausitz region of southern Brandenburg, Germany, and is one of the company’s largest production sites in Europe.
The plant will produce cathode active materials (CAM) with an initial capacity enabling the supply of around 400,000 full electric vehicles per year with BASF battery materials.
View over BASF Schwarzheide from the evaporation plant with the block field for the planned cathode active materials plant in the background.
The Schwarzheide plant’s modular design and infrastructure allows for the rapid scale-up of manufacturing capacities enabling BASF to meet increasing customer demand for the European EV market. The plant in Schwarzheide will use precursors (PCAM) from BASF’s previously announced plant in Harjavalta, Finland. Startup of the two plants is planned for 2022.
The plants in Finland and Germany will offer our customers reliable access to tailored high-nickel cathode active materials in proximity to their European manufacturing facilities.—Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, President, Catalysts division at BASF
With these investments in Finland and Germany, BASF will be the first CAM supplier with local production capacities in today’s three major markets: Asia, the US and Europe. BASF seeks to become the leading supplier with a reliable, sustainable and European-based supply chain which will comprise base metal supply, particularly nickel and cobalt, precursor production, and cathode material production within one region.
The site in Schwarzheide uses an energy-efficient gas and steam turbine power plant that operates on the principle of combined heat and power generation. It is currently being modernized to further increase its efficiency. The integration of renewable energies is also planned. The Harjavalta plant will utilize renewable energy resources, including hydro, wind and biomass-based power. This energy mix will provide CAM material with a very low CO2 footprint.
The investments in Harjavalta, Finland, and Schwarzheide, Germany, reinforce BASF’s support of the European Commission’s agenda towards a European battery production value chain and are part of the “Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI)” that was approved by the European Commission in December 2019 under the European Union state aid rules.