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The Success Stories



A Bavarian investment in Canadian energy technologies: The background story of the Phostech Lithium factory opened in 2012 in Candiac.



Inauguration of the new Phostech Lithium plant in Candiac (Quebec), owned by Süd-Chemie group

On April 2nd 2012 the new Phostech Lithium factory was inaugurated in Candiac. This was the result of the 2nd Conference of the Partner regions held in December 2004 : An agreement had been signed by Süd-Chemie and Phostech Lithium according to which the Bavarian group would invest 10 million dollar in activities of the Quebec based company.

In 2001 researchers from Université de Montréal founded Phostech with the main goal to produce carbon coated lithium iron phosphate (C-LiFePO4), a high performance energy storage material used in batteries for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries – to be found in all kinds of consumer goods, from hybrid and electric vehicles to solar and wind energy storage, power tools, cell phones and other electric appliances. Part of C-LiFePO4 advantages are the non-toxicity of its materials, which make it not only safer, but also more environmentally friendly to produce and to use.

Lifepower LogoAt the same time, Süd-Chemie, a 150 year-old Bavarian company, was conducting an R&D program in Bavaria on the LiFePO4 cathode. The company became very interested in the production of Phostech Lithium. In 2005 Süd Chemie therefore invested in Phostech Lithium for the first time, allowing Phostech to carry on with its future developments. Starting 2006, C-LiFePO4 was successfully marketed under the brand name LifePower® – by then produced in Phostech Lithium’s St. Bruno de Montarville factory.

To keep up with international competition, Süd-Chemie – which acquired Phostech Lithium to 100% in 2008 – invested CAD $78 million in a new facility in Quebec, boosting its global production capacity to 2,500 metric tons per year.

The new Candiac plant was also supported by funds from the Quebec and Canada governments, and created 50 new jobs, contributing to stimulate the regional economy.  “We designed the new Candiac facility with energy- efficient equipment and the latest emission control and effluent recycling systems, fully compliant with Quebéc's high standards", said Dr. Klaus Brandt, head of Süd-Chemie's Battery Materials business line at the inauguration.

Sources: phostechlithium.com,
affaires.lapresse.ca
,
mdeie.gouv.qc.ca,
premier-ministre.gouv.qc.ca

Süd-Chemie, a member of the Swiss group Clariant AG, is a specialty chemicals company headquartered in Munich and operating on a worldwide scale.