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Solvay and Orbia Join Forces to Create a Joint Venture in North America to Supply Critical Materials to the Battery Market

Published by Todd Bush on November 3, 2022

November 03, 2022 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time BRUSSELS & BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Solvay and Orbia today announced their entry 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 U.S. car sales projected to be electric by 2030, demand for lithium-ion batteries and PVDF, a thermoplastic fluoropolymer used as a lithium-ion binder and separator coating, is revving up. The Solvay-Orbia joint venture would fill a significant supply gap and will build upon favorable regulatory conditions promoting regional production and material security.

Solvay, a global leader in PVDF, brings process technology and unparalleled global market know-how to this venture. With a vertically-integrated value chain and material holdings, Orbia's Fluorinated Solutions business Koura and Polymer Solutions business Vestolit will supply hydrofluoric acid, vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and chlorine respectively. In combination, Solvay's Solef® PVDF innovations and Orbia's raw material assets and production expertise will enable delivery of PVDF that optimizes energy storage efficiency by increasing battery energy density, safety and power.

'We are delighted to partner with Orbia on this exciting opportunity to expand our battery solutions into North America, with strong support by the U.S. Department of Energy,' said Ilham Kadri, CEO of Solvay. 'This significant milestone in our electrification strategy enhances our global leadership and contributes to the establishment of the battery supply chain infrastructure in the United States. This decision follows our previously announced investment in Tavaux, France. These investments extend our ambition to grow global sales to the automotive market from €800 million in 2021 to over €3 billion by 2030.'

Said Sameer Bharadwaj, CEO of Orbia, 'Our partnership with Solvay marks a key milestone for our business and our role in enabling the North American energy transition. Together with Solvay, Orbia's unique position integrated into both the fluorine and vinyl chains helps us to bring a cost-competitive battery supply chain to the U.S. just as we maintain our commitment to developing sustainable solutions that can advance life globally. Along with our previously announced Department of Energy grant to produce LiPF6 electrolyte salts in North America, this investment will put us in a leadership position to provide a secure source for fluorinated lithium-ion battery additives as well as local jobs.'

The total investment is estimated to be around $850 million, and is expected to be funded in part by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy of $178 million to Solvay to build a facility in Augusta, Georgia. Solvay and Orbia intend to use two production sites, one for raw materials and the other for finished product, located in the southeastern United States. Both plants are expected to be fully operational by 2026. Commencement of the joint venture is subject to finalizing and entering into definitive agreements between the parties and satisfaction of customary conditions, including obtaining regulatory approvals.

About Solvay

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 21,000 employees in 63 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet roadmap crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering a better life. The Group's innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world's top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of €10.1 billion in 2021. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels and Paris (SOLB). Learn more at https://solvay.com.

About Orbia

Orbia is a company driven by a shared purpose: to advance 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 have a collective focus on expanding access to health and wellness, reinventing the future of cities and homes, ensuring food and water security, connecting communities to information and accelerating a circular economy with basic and advanced materials, specialty products and innovative solutions. Orbia has a global team of over 23,000 employees, commercial activities in more than 110 countries and operations in over 50, with global headquarters in Boston, Mexico City, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv. The company generated $8.8 billion in revenue in 2021. Learn more at https://orbia.com.

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