By Kari Williamson

The joint venture was created for the development and production of cathode materials for high-performance lithium-ion batteries used to power electric and hybrid cars.

The plant in Minamata aims to commence operation by mid-2012.

“Our highly skilled researchers worked very hard during the past months to ensure a successful start of the plant in Minamata,” says Axel Westerhaus, member of the H.C. Starck Executive Board.

CSEM Senior Executive Vice President Kazuyuki Marukawa, adds that the next target is to make the business successful soon and “to expand our capacities by building up a second plant.”