HOUSTON – Orion S.A. (NYSE: OEC), a global specialty chemicals company, today opened a Battery Innovation Center and announced a new leadership team for its conductive additives business for batteries – a major expansion serving the rapidly growing lithium-ion battery industry powering the global shift to electrification.
The new center is located at Orion’s main innovation hub in Cologne, Germany. The facility includes a full array of state-of-art production, testing and diagnostic equipment. The center will accelerate Orion’s tailor-made product and process development in close cooperation with customers.
“The growth potential for conductive additives is huge. We are committed to serving the needs of battery producers with innovation and a global production network. Our new Battery Innovation Center will further position Orion as a leader in the industry,” Orion CEO Corning Painter said. “The battery lab will also broaden and intensify our already extensive network of collaboration with universities, customers and other partners in the battery industry.”
Along with the Battery Innovation Center, Orion will establish a new specialized organization for its battery business, led by Dr. Adrian Steinmetz, who joins Orion on Oct. 1 from BASF. Based in Frankfurt, Germany, he will serve as global vice president for conductive additives.
Dr. Steinmetz’s key areas of expertise include business development, leading global and regional specialty chemical businesses and their technologies, as well as asset management. He earned a doctorate degree in organic chemistry from University of Göttingen, Germany.
“We are excited that Dr. Steinmetz will provide the global leadership that we need to continue the strong momentum we have in the conductive materials market,” said Dr. Sandra Niewiem, senior vice president and global head of Orion’s Specialty business. “He will bring to Orion more than 25 years of experience in several commercial and technical roles in battery materials and specialty chemicals in Europe, Asia and the Americas.”
In the new Battery Innovation Center, Dr. Amaury Augeard will lead the technical team as the head of energy systems. He joined the company from the Lotus Group and brings significant industrial lithium-ion battery expertise. Dr. Augeard holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France.
With a plant in France, Orion is the sole producer of acetylene-based conductive additives in Europe. In the U.S., the company is building a similar plant, which will be the only facility of its kind in the country. The site in La Porte, Texas, will quadruple Orion’s manufacturing capacity for acetylene-based conductive additives, which are in high demand by lithium-ion battery producers.
About Orion S.A.
Orion S.A. (NYSE: OEC) is a leading global supplier of carbon black, a solid form of carbon produced as powder or pellets. The material is made to customers’ exacting specifications for tires, coatings, ink, batteries, plastics and numerous other specialty, high-performance applications. Carbon black is used to tint, colorize, provide reinforcement, conduct electricity, increase durability and add UV protection. Orion has innovation centers on three continents and 15 plants worldwide, offering the most diverse variety of production processes in the industry. The company’s corporate lineage goes back more than 160 years to Germany, where it operates the world’s longest-running carbon black plant. Orion is a leading innovator, applying a deep understanding of customers’ needs to deliver sustainable solutions. For more information, please visit orioncarbons.com.
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