Canadian Manufacturing

$78M investment for Quebec chemical plant

MUNICH/CANDIAC, Que.: German Chemical manufacturer Süd-Chemie AG plans to invest more than $78 million to support new lithium iron phosphate (LFP) production at Phostech Lithium Inc., the German firm’s Canadian subsidiary in Candiac, Que.

LFP is a high performance energy storage material used in batteries for electric vehicle drives and other applications. This is the first industrial production plant for LFP using a new “wet chemistry” process touted for consistently producing a more stable product.

Commercial production will start in 2012 with a target of 2,500 tons per year—enough to power 50,000 all-electric automobiles or 500,000 hybrid vehicles per year. The company already produces 300 tons of LFP per year at its site in Moosburg, Germany.

Besides electric vehicle drives, LFP may also be used in high-performance storage batteries for stabilizing peak supply, storing photovoltaic electricity and in power tools.

“This investment is of central strategic importance to Süd-Chemie,” said Dr. Günter von Au, chairman of the Managing Board of Süd-Chemie AG.

“Our LFP will establish itself as a storage material for large high-performance batteries, thus enabling electromobility to achieve an overall breakthrough in the automotive industry.”

Dr. Hans-Joachim Müller, another member of the Managing Board of Süd-Chemie AG, singled out Canada as a market of strategic importance for the company’s brands.

“With this investment, we are now significantly expanding our production capacity in this market of the future, which will allow us to meet the heavily increasing demand from our strategic customers in the automotive and battery industries,” said Müller.

Süd-Chemie is a specialty chemicals company based in Munich, Germany serving consumer goods, packaging and foundry industries, as well as water treatment. The Süd-Chemie Group generated sales of EUR 1.1 billion in 2009 and employed 6,500 people in 80 sales and production companies worldwide.

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