India Joins LFP Cathode Materials Market with EAM Acquisition

Epsilon Advanced Materials facility

(Credit: Epsilon Advanced Materials)

by | Feb 5, 2024

Epsilon Advanced Materials (EAM) has finalized its acquisition of a lithium-ion phosphate cathode active material technology center, reportedly making India the first country in Asia outside of China to manufacture LFP cathode materials, used for electric vehicle batteries and utility-scale battery storage.

The Mumbai-based company purchased Johnson Matthey’s LFP center, located in Moosburg, Germany, partially aiming to reduce the battery market’s reliance on China. About 70% of cathode materials and 100% of LFP cathode materials are currently produced in China, according to the company.

The facility will be used to produce LFP and lithium manganese iron phosphate in small lab-scale batches up to pilot-scale levels, and it will also be used to validate new materials. The site reportedly implements hydrothermal operations for cleaner metals processing. EAM plans to start construction on an additional, $1.1 billion facility in India later this year for large-scale customer qualification, and it is expected to scale up to 100,000 tons of material production by 2030.

“We are proud to announce that EAM is now ready to go to market with a proven high-performance cathode active material, marking a significant leap forward in our capabilities,” said Sunit Kapur, CEO of EAM. “Integrating the cathode expertise from the Moosburg technology center with our anode business uniquely positions us to deliver comprehensive solutions to customers, delivering anode and cathode to empower them to optimize the performance of their batteries.”

Battery Manufacturers Increasingly Transition to LFP Cathode Materials

LFP cathodes have gained traction in the battery market, largely for their longer life span, tolerance in higher temperatures, and minimal maintenance needs. They are also known to be less expensive to produce compared to many other cathodes that contain pricey metals, such as nickel and cobalt.

LFP manufacturing will complement EAM’s investment in anode battery materials. Last year, EAM announced plans to build a $650 million graphite anode material manufacturing facility in North Carolina, and it is also investing in the construction of a graphite processing facility in Finland.

Through the new acquisition, the company will reportedly become the first global company to provide manufacturers with both cathode and anode materials used for lithium-ion batteries. As the lithium-ion battery market grows worldwide, India is expected to become a market leader during this decade.

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