BASF acquires equity ownership in Sion Power

BASF has invested $50m to obtain equity ownership in Sion Power, a manufacturer of lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries based in Arizona, US.

Under the agreement, Sion will provide a long-term complement to BASF's current activities in the areas of electrolyte formulations and lithium-ion cathode materials development, which are managed under the new Battery Materials global business unit.

The equity partnership is an extension of a current joint development agreement established by BASF Future Business with Sion Power in 2009. BASF research executive director Andreas Kreimeyer said Sion will allow it to leverage the expertise of both companies to deliver lithium-sulfur technologies to the battery materials market in the years ahead.

Sion CEO Dennis Mangino said the progress of technical collaboration between Sion and BASF for more than two years led to BASF taking a significant financial stake in Sion. Battery Materials senior vice-president Ralf Meixner said advanced cathodes, anodes and other battery materials are key enabling technologies for battery performance. Sion chairman Leo Guthart said that the companies have formed a strong partnership and a shared vision aimed directly at working together to enable electromobility.

BASF has announced its intention to invest a multi-million euro sum in researching, developing and producing advanced battery materials through 2016. The company will also explore next-generation battery materials concepts, including the lithium-sulfur technologies now in early-stage development with Sion Power.

Battery Materials was launched to integrate the company's current and future battery-materials-related activities within a single operating unit managed by its Catalysts division. BASF Future Business is a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF that focuses on chemistry-based new materials, technologies and system solutions.

Sion Power is a manufacturer of a new generation of high-energy, rechargeable lithium-sulfur batteries for portable power and electric vehicle markets.