- Specialty minerals producer ICL broke ground on a $400 million battery materials manufacturing plant last week in St. Louis, Missouri.
- The 140,000-square-foot plant will be one of the country's first large-scale battery materials manufacturing sites, according to the Israel-based company. It will produce materials for lithium iron phosphate batteries.
- The factory, which received a $197-million-dollar loan from the Department of Energy, is expected to open in 2025.
While scores of EV-related companies have announced battery manufacturing sites for nickel cobalt manganese batteries over the past year, fewer have invested in LFP battery production sites.
ICL's facility will have capacity to produce 30,000 metric tons of LFP a year, and will serve as a hub for the company's global battery materials business.
"We’re excited about the demand we are already seeing for this capacity and are looking forward to moving into this new business," Phil Brown, president of the company’s Phosphate Division and managing director of North America for ICL, said in a statement. "Additionally, as we rapidly move ahead, we are looking forward to partnering with some of the premier participants in this exciting new industry.”
Battery materials production is set to play a key role in ICL's future growth, President and CEO Raviv Zoller said on a recent earnings call, noting that the company is open to expanding capacity at the site as demand dictates.
"We also remain committed to our long-term specialty strategy through our investment in lithium iron phosphate battery materials production," Zoller told investors. "Our St. Louis facility will be the first large scale battery materials manufacturing plant in the United States, and is expected to help meet growing demand from the energy storage, electric vehicle and clean energy industries for U.S. produced and sourced essential battery materials.”
ICL joins companies including Ford, which announced a $3.5 billion LFP site in February, and American Battery Factory, which plans to open a 2 million-square-foot LFP production plant in Tucson, Arizona.
The St. Louis site adds to ICL's expansive global manufacturing presence, with 50 production plants in 13 countries, including Israel, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., Austria, France, Belgium, Turkey, the U.S., Brazil, China and Australia.