EU Battery Alliance pushes forward with pilot plants

October 16, 2018 //By Nick Flaherty
EU Battery Alliance pushes forward with pilot plants
One year on from the launch of the European Battery Alliance (EBA), the first pilot production facilities are being built and further projects are being launched to establish the EU as a leading player in battery manufacturing. 

The EU points to Umicore's investment in Poland – Nysa – for the production of cathode materials. The plant will build upon the state-of-the-art technologies and is due to start deliveries in late 2020. A new Process Competence Centre will be built in Belgium to develop and scale up high-efficiency production technologies.

BASF in Germany plans to add production capabilities in Europe while Solvay is working on developing state-of-the-art electrolytes and electrode binders and separators that are needed for highly efficient batteries. The company is considering building a plant in Europe.

For battery cells, work has already begun to build a demonstration line in a project led by Northvolt of Sweden with a €52.5 million loan from the European Investment Bank. Production is to start in the second part of 2019. Northvolt has also obtained the permit to construct a larger scale facility in Skellefteå in Sweden, scaling up production up to 32 GWh in 2023.

The BMW Group, Northvolt and Umicore have formed a joint technology consortium in order to work closely together on the continued development of a complete and sustainable value chain for battery cells for electrified vehicles in Europe, while SAFT is working with Solvay, Umicore, Manz and others to develop and manufacture solid state Li-ion cells.

At the same time, Siemens is working with the entire cell manufacturing value chain on manufacturing challenges and solutions, and has recently engaged in piloting the first fully automated and digitized production lines in Europe.

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