Battery cathode materials specialist Nano One has announced the acquisition of Johnson Matthey Battery Materials (JMBM), a Canadian company that operates one of the few LFP cathode production facilities in North America.
Nano One will acquire all of the outstanding shares of JMBM for a total of $10.25 million Canadian ($8 million US). The deal includes the company’s LFP battery production capacity in Candiac, Quebec.
Automakers are showing a growing interest in LFP battery cells, as they tend to be cheaper than those using NMC and other chemistries, and use no controversial cobalt. Most of the cells using LFP are currently produced in China, so an LFP facility in North America could be a strategic asset.
JMBM has been providing lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode material to “the lithium-ion battery sector for both automotive and non-automotive applications for a select group of customers.” Its facility currently has a fairly small capacity of 2,400 tons per year, but the production lines only occupy about 10% of the 400,000 square-foot property.
Electrek’s Fred Lambert called the acquisition “good news, since Nano One has deeper pockets and has been developing new production processes for a variety of battery chemistries, including LFP cells.” Hopefully Nano One can help to build a more substantial LFP supply chain in North America.
“The rapidly expanding need for responsibly produced cathode materials in North America presents an opportunity for Nano One to deploy its technology and become a leader,” said Nano One CEO Dan Blondal. “Experienced employees are at the core of this deal and will help fast-track Nano One’s learning curve. The facility is in Greater Montreal and strategically located in proximity to employees, international airports, major port facilities and is a critical link in the mines-to-mobility initiative. This complements Nano One’s technology innovation center and team in Burnaby, British Columbia, and is a perfect base for the advancement, expansion and acceleration of our commercialization strategy.”
“We have worked with Nano One on a number of projects over the last year and having seen their innovations, we believe they have the potential to develop the Candiac site in the best way possible,” said Liam Condon, Chief Executive of Johnson Matthey.