Solvay and Orbia have teamed up to produce suspension-grade polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) for the North American market.
According to Orbia, demand is increasing for PVDF, a thermoplastic fluoropolymer used as a lithium-ion binder and separator coating in batteries. The Solvay-Orbia joint venture aims to fill a supply gap for this critical battery component.
Solvay will bring its PVDF expertise to the table, and Orbia will provide raw materials. Orbia’s Fluorinated Solutions business Koura and Polymer Solutions business Vestolit will supply hydrofluoric acid, vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), and chlorine, respectively.
Total investment in the venture is estimated to be around $850 million. Solvay has won a $178-million grant from the DOE, which it will use to build a facility in Augusta, Georgia. Solvay and Orbia intend to use two production sites, one for raw materials and the other for the finished product, located in the southeastern United States. Both plants are expected to be fully operational by 2026.
“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 US,” said Sameer Bharadwaj, CEO of Orbia.