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Solvay announces PVDF capacity investment in Europe to meet growing EV battery demand

The €300 million investment supports a fully integrated and digitalized PVDF operation and will increase capacity at Solvay's site in Tavaux, France to 35 kilotons – making it the largest PVDF production site in Europe

Solvay is further extending its existing leadership position in the global lithium-ion battery market by expanding its production capacity of high-performance polymer Solef® polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) at its site in Tavaux, France. Building on its previously announced PVDF capacity increase at its site in Changshu, China, this new project will expand its capacity in Europe to 35 kilotons, creating the largest PVDF production site in the region. This investment will be completed by December 2023 and reinforces Solvay’s global leadership in this field, positioning it to capitalize on the growing demand for electric and hybrid vehicles.

The rapid growth of electric and hybrid vehicles is driving unprecedented demand for PVDF, a thermoplastic fluoropolymer used both as a binder and a separator coating in lithium-ion batteries which is essential for the creation of safer and longer-range performance. Solvay’s solutions and innovation pipeline in Solef® PVDF will help its customers optimize energy storage efficiency by increasing the battery’s energy density, safety and power.

Solvay has been developing solutions for the automotive industry for over 30 years. In addition to PVDF, Solvay continues to grow considerable market share as it delivers lightweighting materials that enable automotive OEMs to reduce weight and lower CO2 emissions. With the transformation to electrification expected to accelerate in the next decade, Solvay is on track to double its addressable market value per vehicle. As a result, Solvay expects to grow its Materials business sales to the automotive market from approximately €800 million in 2021 to more than €2.5 billion by 2030.

“Demand for electric vehicles is undergoing massive growth,” explained Michael Finelli, president of Solvay’s global growth platforms. “We are capitalizing on this powerful megatrend through a relentless focus on innovation that is generating new technologies for our customers and positioning Solvay as an unparalleled leader in this field. We are inspired both by the environmental benefits as we transition to cleaner mobility and by the commercial opportunities these new technologies offer. Solvay has a long history of innovation in PVDF technologies and we are extending our leadership through this significant investment in Tavaux. This investment further demonstrates our deep commitment to our customers and is aligned to our own long-term growth strategy and our Solvay One Planet sustainability ambitions.”

Solvay’s plans in Tavaux exemplify its execution of its G.R.O.W. strategy announced in November 2019, which focuses investments in high-growth, sustainable solutions in Materials aligned to important emerging megatrends. Furthermore, Solvay’s Solef® PVDF has also been recognized as a sustainable and profitable solution by the World Alliance for Efficient Solutions for its contribution to cleaner mobility, and was an essential component used by Solar Impulse, the world’s first solar-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the world led by renowned balloonist, Bertrand Piccard.

SOURCE: Solvay

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