Solvay and Orbia plan to enter into a joint venture framework agreement to create a partnership for the production of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), a thermoplastic fluoropolymer used as a binder and separator coating for lithium-ion batteries. The joint venture will create the largest PVDF production facility for battery materials in North America. The total investment is estimated at approximately $850 million. It is expected to be partially funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant totaling $178 million.
Solvay will contribute its process technology and global market expertise. Orbia will supply hydrofluoric acid, vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), and chlorine. Combining Solvay’s Solef® PVDF innovations with Orbia’s raw material assets and manufacturing expertise will enable the delivery of PVDF that optimizes energy storage efficiency by increasing battery energy density, safety, and power, the companies say.
Solvay and Orbia intend to use two production facilities in the southeastern United States, one for raw materials and the other for the final product. Both facilities are expected to be fully operational by 2026. The formation of the joint venture is subject to the conclusion of definitive agreements between the parties and the satisfaction of customary conditions, including obtaining regulatory approvals.