After foraying into anode materials for lithium-ion batteries, India-based carbon black provider Epsilon Carbon has expanded into cathode materials with US-based The Metals Company.
The Economic Times and The Hindu reported that Epsilon Carbon and The Metals Company signed an MoU to jointly undertake a pre-feasibility study for a commercial-scale deep-sea nodule processing plant.
The Metals Company would mine polymetallic nodules from the Pacific Ocean floor. Epsilon Carbon would process it in a facility in India to produce the raw materials required to manufacture the cathode for NMC-based lithium-ion batteries with an annual production capacity of 30,000 tonnes.
Vikram Handa, managing director of Epsilon Carbon, said that after commercial production of synthetic graphite used for anode material for lithium-ion batteries, Epsilon plans to produce 30,000 tonnes of NMC and 20,000 tonnes of LFP annually by 2025 to meet the local content requirement of Indian giga-scale cell factories. According to Handa, 30,000 tonnes of NMC raw materials will be sufficient to produce cathode materials for 25GWh equivalent of cells.
Epsilon Carbon is one of India's most active players in developing battery materials. It ventured into battery materials by establishing Epsilon Advanced Materials in 2016, produced synthetic graphite used for anode materials in Karnataka and announced its entry into cathode materials to produce nickel, cobalt, and manganese in 2021.
India is encouraging electric vehicles and energy storage industries by launching green initiatives such as FAME II, Production Linked Incentives (PLI) schemes for Auto and Auto Components, and Advanced Chemistry Cells. The Hindu reported that under PLI for Advanced Chemistry Cells, which aims to bring a cumulative 50GWh of annual cell capacity, cell manufacturers have to reach a local content of 60% to be eligible for the subsidy.