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Śrem sees the start of one of the strategic investments for the national economy. With the electrolyte production facility, Poland will strengthen its position as one of
Europe’s major export centres supplying innovative electromobility-related technologies.

Residents of the region will also benefit as Capchem prepares jobs for them and becomes involved in actions for the local community. The foundation stone of the facility was laid as part of a celebration event held in Wiosenna Street on Monday, October 18.

Capchem decided to invest in Poland in response to an invitation from the Polish government. The global electromobility leader chose Śrem as the location for its facility, taking advantage of the opportunity to redevelop a former plant operated by BASF, a chemicals tycoon the company has cooperated with for many years.

Electrolyte for one million electric cars

Capchem has been manufacturing electrolyte, the main component of lithium-ion batteries, for over a quarter of a century. Today it is the most popular way to power electric cars and electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, Bluetooth headphones, and pacemakers. Such batteries perform better while being more environmentally and user-friendly: they have a longer life and feature high energy density. The growing electric vehicle market is also of great benefit to the planet, and the production activity in Śrem will primarily focus on this sector.

The Polish facility was designed to yield a production capacity of 40,000 tonnes of electrolyte per year, while Capchem’s five factories in China supply a total of 170,000 tonnes per year.

A modern investment, safe production

Capchem will invest a total of 50 million EUR in the Śrem facility. Work to adapt the production and warehouse buildings taken over from BASF has just begun at the Wiosenna Street site. Before the redevelopment, the company spent several months making thorough preparations for the investment.

The construction work kick-off was preceded by the development of comprehensive reports and expert opinions, and the redevelopment project is being carried out following Polish and European regulations and environmental requirements. Much of the production process will be automated with modern technology and safeguards ensuring at every stage that any risks are minimised. The tools and elements of the production process are subject to supervision by the Office of Technical Inspection.

To begin with, the company plans to employ 60 people at the new facility, and local subcontractors are already being engaged. For several months, Capchem has also been initiating activities for the local community: it is the main sponsor of Warta Śrem, has financed the construction of a playground at the club’s headquarters, and it cooperates with WOPR (Volunteer Lifeguard Service) and the Voluntary Fire Brigade.

An important step in the development of Polish electromobility

The production of electrolyte in Śrem will bring benefits not only locally but also globally – contributing to the growth of electromobility and, consequently, to environmental protection. The Capchem facility will operate in the Wałbrzych Special Economic Zone INVEST-PARK and thus become one of the locally operating electromobility companies. In recent years, Daimler and Toyota as well as automotive suppliers such as Umicore, Mitsui High-Tec, and LS EV have chosen the zone to carry out their investments connected with the production of electric and hybrid drive units.

The launch of production in Śrem is planned for the third quarter of 2022. Buyers of the electrolyte produced in Śrem will include LG Energy Solution, Europe’s largest manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, Swedish Northvolt – a company specialising in lithium-ion battery technology for electric vehicles, and the American manufacturer of luxury and sports electric cars Tesla.