Chemical company Johnson Matthey has announced the construction of a new factory for the production of its battery cathode materials. This year will see the begin of construction of the production facility in Konin, Poland, after which production should start in 2021 or 2022.
According to the Group, the plant is expected to initially provide capacity for 10,000 tons of cathode material per year. Depending on demand, these will be expanded later to up to 100,000 tons per year. With regard to the location, the company has only said that the production facility planned in central Poland will be positioned “close to major customers in the supply chain for battery electric vehicles”.
Competitor Umicore is also about to open a site in Poland. The Belgian group is investing 1.38 billion zloty (321 million euros) in a cathode materials factory that is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2020.
For their plans, Johnson Matthey, in addition to its plant in Poland, the manufacturer has now concluded a ten-year contract with Nemaska Lithium for the supply of lithium hydroxide for its battery cathode materials, in which the quantities supplied are aligned with Johnson Matthey’s production plans.
As early as 2017, the chemicals group announced plans to invest 200 million pounds (around 234 million euros) in expanding its battery materials business. Meanwhile, U.S. manufacturer Cummins acquired Johnson Matthey’s electric and hybrid vehicle business. This was the Johnson Matthey Battery Systems division, a site with 50 employees.