As of last week, Honeywell has announced its plans to construct a build a full-scale lithium battery plant is no longer feasible and would not be coming to Metropolis.
According to Honeywell Spokeperson Peter Dalpe, Honeywell worked with the Department of Energy (DOE) on a grant project to advance U.S. production of a material called lithium hexafluorophosphate, also known as LiPF6, a key ingredient for making lithium ion batteries used in hybrid and electric vehicles among other applications.
Dalpe explained as a part of the initial grant application process, Honeywell was required to list potential U.S. manufacturing sites. Metropolis was one of a number of potential sites in the grant proposal.
“The company did not announce any potential sites because at that point we were still proving the manufacturing process and not at the stage where we were even considering production sites,” said Dalpe.
During the first phase of that work, Honeywell built a pilot plant and proved the technical feasibility of our manufacturing process. “In other words, we were able to prove our manufacturing process would indeed work,” said Dalpe.
According to Dalpe, under the terms of the grant, Honeywell was scheduled to decide earlier this year whether to proceed to the grant’s second phase, which would be to build a full-scale LiPF6 production facility.
“Unfortunately, market conditions changed and Honeywell determined that building a commercial-scale facility is no longer economically viable for Honeywell. Earlier this year, Honeywell and the DOE mutually decided not to move forward with production of a full-scale LiPF6 production facility.”