Orbia’s Fluorinated Solutions business Koura announced that it has signed a technology licensing agreement with Kanto Denka Kogyo for lithium hexafluorophoshate (LiPF6), a critical lithium-ion battery material. The agreement provides Koura with access to Kanto Denka Kogyo’s world-class technology and industry expertise in commercial LiPF6 production.
Currently, there is no large-scale production of LiPF6 in North America. With significant growth of the U.S. electric vehicles market, demand for lithium-ion batteries and materials is increasing. Orbia is working to secure North America’s supply of key battery materials and recently announced the first U.S. manufacturing plant for LiPF6 in St. Gabriel, Louisiana, partially funded by a $100 million U.S. Department of Energy Award.
“Kanto Denka Kogyo is recognized by the major battery producers for its reliable and high quality LiPF6 technology. We are excited to extend this production know-how to Koura, as they are best suited to build and operate a LiPF6 plant in North America with their vertically-integrated fluorspar and fluorine value chain. Customers will now have access to known LiPF6 performance in North America,” said Junichi Hasegawa, President of Kanto Denka Kogyo.
“As one of the pioneers and known leader in the high quality manufacture of LiPF6, Kanto Denka Kogyo is the ideal partner for Koura to progress our energy strategy and be ready to meet growing demand for a domestic supply of LiPF6,” said Gregg Smith, President of Orbia Fluorinated Solutions (Koura). “Accessing a proven technology with our license from Kanto Denka Kogyo along with support from the U.S. Department of Energy ensures we are ready to meet customer needs as lithium-ion battery plants are built and the market grows.”
As the operator of the world’s largest fluorspar mine, Koura is working with industry partners and researchers to convert the material into a wide range of advanced battery materials, including electrolyte salts, binders and high-performance electrolyte additives for lithium-ion batteries. Koura’s unique ‘mine-to-market’ vertically integrated position, expertise in fluorine technology and investment in recycled and alternative sources of Lithium enables the business to tackle today’s challenge of the domestic supply chain for lithium-ion batteries.