Umicore has recently entered into an agreement to sell all of its shares in beLife to its joint venture partner Prayon. beLife was created by both shareholders in order to demonstrate the industrial scale production of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathode material and to qualify this material at some of the major global Li-ion battery makers. Although all major project milestones in terms of product performance and industrial pilot scale manufacturing have been met, the future of beLife will benefit from a different shareholder structure, Umicore says.

The company also suggested that, in view of the China-centered growth of LFP in the coming years, a locally focused organization would be critical to participate in this segment of the market.

 ‘We are pleased with all the progress we have achieved with our JV-partner of beLife in recent years,’ said Kurt Vandeputte, vice president of Umicore’s Rechargeable Battery Materials business unit. ‘Umicore has decided to further strengthen its efforts in NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) and high energy LCO (lithium cobaltite) cathode materials. These are the materials of choice in the fast growing automotive segment and portable electronic segment respectively.’

This story is reprinted from material from Umicore, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.