The chemical company BASF has announced that in future it will focus more on its electromobility offering. For this purpose, up to 4.5 billion euros are to be invested in battery materials and recycling by 2030 – in return, the business with exhaust gas catalysts is to be spun off.
The spin-off as a new unit called ‘BASF Automotive Catalysts and Recycling’ is intended to prepare the business for the upcoming changes in the market for combustion engines, according to BASF. In addition, “future strategic options” would be made possible. The approximately 20 global production sites with more than 4,000 employees are to be retained. The spin-off process is scheduled to start in January 2022 and is expected to take up to 18 months, the company said.
While the exhaust catalysts will be spun off, BASF’s Catalysts division plans to focus more on its electromobility offering. “BASF will become a leader in innovative and sustainable cathode active materials with a significant production capacity footprint in Asia, Europe and North America,” said Peter Schuhmacher, head of BASF’s Catalysts division. “The recently announced long-term battery materials strategy lays out an ambitious growth plan for battery materials and base metal services with targeted 2030 sales in excess of €7 billion.”
According to this strategy, BASF aims to achieve sales of over seven billion euros in 2030. To achieve this, the growth plan calls for investments of 3.5 to 4.5 billion euros between 2022 and 2030 – for the battery business alone.
BASF is currently building a cathode material factory and a recycling pilot plant in Schwarzheide, Brandenburg. The production will process precursors from another plant in Finland. BASF hopes that this European value chain will reduce the CO2 emissions of its battery materials.
In the field of research and development of battery materials, the company has already entered into several cooperations – together with KIT, BASF is working on a process to accelerate battery production. A strategic partnership has existed with the Chinese battery manufacturer SVOLT since October 2021, which includes the development of new battery materials, the supply of raw materials and battery recycling. A similar cooperation exists with CATL.