Chinese chemicals producer Shandong Fengyuan Chemical is making progress in building production plants for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode material and nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) battery cathode material.
The 10,000 t/yr LFP cathode material project will be built in two phases. The first phase of 3,000t/yr started pilot operation in the second half of 2017 and will start commercial production soon. It has received orders from buyers including Penghui Resource, Aoyou Power and Langtaifeng Electric.
Site construction for the remaining 7,000 t/yr is completed, with equipment for the first production line of 3,500 t/yr scheduled to be installed before the end of this year.
Fengyuan will invest 420mn yuan ($60mn) in the LFP project and Yn196mn on the NCM project.
The company has also completed site construction of the 5,000 t/yr NCM plant, which has two production lines. The first line with 1,500 t/yr of capacity for 8-1-1 NCM ternary material started pilot production on 18 September. It has ordered equipment for the second line with 3,500 t/yr of capacity, which will be installed at the end of November.
Fengyuan entered the lithium battery industry in 2016 when it formed Fengyuan Lithium Energy.
Demand for lithium-ion batteries has risen sharply in response to China's growing new energy vehicle (NEV) sector. More and more Chinese companies, including Ningbo Shanshan and Zhejiang Huayou, are investing in ternary cathode material production, with domestic capacity reaching 150,000 t/yr.
China's January-September NEV production increased by 73pc from a year earlier to 735,000 units. The country is on target to produce 1mn NEVs this year.