The German chemical company and cathode producer BASF and the Chinese battery manufacturer CATL has announded a strategic partnership on battery materials including cathode materials and battery recycling. The collaboration aims at developing a sustainable battery value chain, in support of CATL's localization in Europe.
Both CATL and BASF are setting up new facilties in Germany. CATL is building a cell manufacturing plant in Thuringia which will have a capacity of 14 GWh when it opens in 2022. BASF is building a cathode production plant in Schwarzheide which will have a capacity enough to annually supply cathode materials for 400,000 cars which equates to about double the volume that CATL require. BASF's plant is also set to be commssioned in 2022.
With the deal CATL will be able to source its cathode materials locally.
The companies will also work together on battery recycling. Battery plants generate a not insignficant amount of scrap which can be recycled and turned back into production. Most efficiently is of course a closed loop involving both the cell maker and the cathode producer.
BASF is currently developing its recycling technology and are building a hydrometallurgical plant adjacent to its cathode plant in Schwarzheide. Acording to CATL this enables the company to improve its European service capabilities by developing a localized battery recycling network and a secure raw material supply chain in the region.
CATL is the main owner of Brunp which effectively is the world's largest battery recycler in both capacity and actual production, with several plants in the Hunan and Guangdong provinces in China and direct interests in recycling in Indonesia. The company is also producer of precursors for CATL's batteries. This agreement however indicates that CATL doesn't see a direct role for Brunp in their European activities.
More about the partnership here.