Swedish rolled aluminium firm Gränges AB announced an expansion this week to its Newport, Arkansas production facility to begin production of battery cathode foil, making it the first to produce battery cathode foil in the United States to date.
Per the firm, battery cathode foil is a critical component for lithium-ion batteries, which are essential for the production of electric vehicles. Gränges says it is well suited to enter the market due to its global footprint, its focus on sustainability, and its expertise in creating and using aluminium alloys.
The add-on to the existing plant will include finishing and clean room equipment necessary for the production of battery cathode foil. Gränges did not specify a cost for the addition, but it did announce that commercial deliveries of battery cathode foil produced there are expected to begin in 2024.
Patrick Lawlor, President Gränges Americas, said in a press release that the move was prompted by an uptick in demand from battery manufacturers around the world.
“With this investment, we will be the first domestic producer of battery foil. We see a very strong interest from leading global battery manufacturers in domestic supply within the battery value chain. We look forward to partnering with them as well as with leading automotive OEMs in developing this market in the US.”
Begun in 1873 in Stockholm, Sweden as Trafik AB Grängesberg-Oxelösund, Gränges AB was resurrected in 2013 as a private company specializing in rolled aluminium heat exchangers. It employs almost 1,800 employees at the present time at two plants – one in Finspång, Sweden, that opened in its present configuration in 1972, and a second in Shanghai, China, opened in 1996. The firm boasts a total nameplate capacity of 420 thousand metric tons per annum and an annual sales total of SEK13 billion (US$1.35 billion).