Germany’s BASF to invest in battery development


German chemical producer BASF is planning to invest nearly €100m ($122m) in developing and distributing battery materials.

"As part of the investment plans, BASF has started a new division for its battery activities."

The company is planning to spread the investment over six years as part of the market penetration plan.

Ralf Meixner, BASF battery materials senior vice president, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the company intends to be among the first three global suppliers of materials which produces batteries and cells by 2020.

He added further that although Japanese firms are at the forefront of battery material production, their market is fragmented.

"In Japan, we expect a consolidation of companies as mid-sized firms will disappear," Meixner said.

As part of the investment plans, BASF has started a new division for its battery activities and has acquired Germany's Merck KGaA battery electrolyte activities.

The company also took over several US-based companies, such as Novolyte Technologies, the Ovonic Battery Company and Sion Power, as part of the expansion.

Pike Research official Andy Bae said the Japanese companies hold an almost 80% share of the global lithium-ion-battery market.