BRUSSELS & BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Solvay and Orbia announced today that they have entered into a joint venture framework agreement to create a partnership for the production of suspension grade polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), creating the largest capacity in North America.
With more than half of US auto sales projected to be electric by 2030, there is increasing demand for lithium-ion batteries and PVDF, a thermoplastic fluoropolymer used as a lithium-ion binder and release coating. The Solvay-Orbia joint venture would fill a significant supply gap and build on favorable regulatory conditions to promote regional production and material security.
Solvay, a world leading PVDF company, brings process technology and unparalleled global market expertise to this company. With a vertically integrated value chain and material inventories, Orbia’s Fluorinated Solutions business Koura and Polymer Solutions business Vestolit will supply hydrofluoric acid, vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and chlorine, respectively. The combination of Solvay’s Solef® PVDF innovations and Orbia’s raw material resources and manufacturing expertise will enable the delivery of PVDF that optimizes energy storage efficiency by increasing the batteries’ energy density, safety and performance.
“We are pleased to partner with Orbia on this exciting opportunity to expand our battery solutions into North America with strong support from the US Department of Energy,” said Solvay CEO Ilham Kadri. “This significant milestone in our electrification strategy reinforces our global leadership position and helps build the battery supply chain infrastructure in the United States. This decision follows our previously announced investment in Tavaux, France. These investments expand our ambition to grow global automotive sales from €800 million in 2021 to over €3 billion by 2030.”
Sameer Bharadwaj, CEO of Orbia, said: “Our partnership with Solvay marks an important milestone for our business and our role in enabling North America’s energy transition. Along with Solvay, Orbia’s unique position, integrated into both the fluorine and vinyl chains, helps us bring a cost-effective battery supply chain to the United States while maintaining our commitment to developing sustainable solutions that transform life can improve worldwide. This investment, combined with our previously announced Department of Energy grant to manufacture LiPF6 electrolyte salts in North America, will put us in a leadership position to provide a secure source of fluorinated lithium-ion battery additives as well as local jobs.”
The total investment is estimated at approximately $850 million and will be funded in part by a $178 million grant from the US Department of Energy to Solvay to build a facility in Augusta, Georgia. Solvay and Orbia intend to utilize two manufacturing facilities in the southeastern United States, one for raw materials and the other for finished products. Both plants are expected to be fully operational by 2026. Commencement of the joint venture is subject to completion and completion of definitive agreements between the parties and satisfaction of customary conditions, including obtaining regulatory approvals.
Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of everyday life. With more than 21,000 employees in 63 countries, Solvay connects people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The group strives to create sustainable shared value for all, particularly through its Solvay One Planet roadmap, which is based on three pillars: climate protection, resource conservation and promoting a better life. The group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner and more sustainable products in homes, food and consumer products, airplanes, cars, batteries, smart devices, healthcare applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay is now among the top three global companies for the vast majority of its activities, with net sales of €10.1 billion in 2021. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (SOLB). Learn more at solvay.com.
Orbia is a company driven by a common purpose: advancing life around the world. Orbia operates in the Polymer Solutions (Vestolit and Alphagary), Building and Infrastructure (Wavin), Precision Agriculture (Netafim), Connectivity Solutions (Dura-Line) and Fluorinated Solutions (Koura) sectors. The five Orbia business groups are collectively focused on expanding access to health and wellness, reinventing the future of cities and homes, ensuring food and water security, connecting communities with information, and a circular economy with essential and advanced materials, Specialty products and innovation to accelerate solutions. Orbia has a global team of over 23,000 employees, commercial operations in more than 110 countries and offices in over 50, with global headquarters in Boston, Mexico City, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. The company had sales of $8.8 billion in 2021. Learn more at orbia.com.