Brunp, with its majority owner CATL, announced the 12th October that it will establish a new production base in Yichang in the Hubei Province, just west of Wuhan. The new 3.7 square kilometer industrial park, which is a joint investment with chemical company Hubei Yihua Chemical Co, will host a new production base with waste battery material recycling, production of lithium iron phosphate and ternary precursors, lithium iron phosphate, lithium cobalt oxide and ternary cathode materials as well as graphite, phosphoric and sulphuric acid. The total investment is 32 billion yuan ($4.9Bn) and will built over a period of 6 years between 2022 and 2027.
The new company operating the site will be owned jointly by Brunp (65%) and by Hubei Yihua (35%), a large producer of sulpharic and phosphoric acids.
Despite CATL's strong position in LFP batteries this is the first time Brunp is investing in LFP capacity, both in making precursors and to recycle the batteries. LFP batteries received through Brunp's collection activities have previously been sold to other specialised recyclers in China.
The announcements come only a few weeks after one of Brunp's main competitors, GEM, announced an expansion of its Jingmen base, less than 2 hours from Yichang. GEM is also investing in a significant increase of LFP production, alongside expansion of its high nickel cathodes and recycling of both. Ganfeng Lithium, which today operates both LFP and ternary recycling announced investments in a new plant in the Sichuan region less than a month ago.