German chemicals group BASF is expanding its presence in the energy sector, after agreeing to sell lithium-ion and sodium sulfur (NaS) batteries developed by Japan’s NGK Insulators.
BASF New Business (BNB)— a subsidiary of the chemicals group— said on 11 June it had signed a non-exclusive rights agreement to sell NaS batteries through BASF’s international network.
BNB’s e-power management director, Dr Frank Prechtl, said the sales partnership enabled BASF to enter the energy storage market. “Based on our technical expertise gained by our own developments in recent years, sodium-sulfur technology fits ideally to the requirements of the emerging market for long-duration energy storage systems.”
NGK’s market penetration will grow as a result of being tied in to BASF’s global distribution, said NaS battery division manager Tatsumi Ichioka. He said NGK was the first company to commercialise the NaS battery system and has since delivered NaS battery systems “to about 200 locations worldwide with a total output of more than 560MW and a storage capacity of 4GWh”.
In 2018, BASF made an unspecified “significant investment” in the all-iron flow battery technology developed by US-based Energy Storage Systems— which made its debut in Europe under a contract with the chemicals group.
Also last year, BASF said it was joining a sustainable pilot cobalt-mining project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with South Korean firms Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics.