ICL to invest US$30M in customer innovation and qualification center in North America, adding to R&D capabilities in lithium iron phosphate battery materials market

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December 19, 2023 (press release) –

Company prioritizing R&D capabilities, as it looks to lead in North American lithium iron phosphate battery materials market

ICL (NYSE: ICL) (TASE: ICL), a leading global specialty minerals company, today announced plans to invest $30 million to develop a customer innovation and qualification center (CIQC) in North America, as the company continues to execute on its long-term plan to provide commercial solutions for the energy storage systems (ESS) market in the United States. The CIQC is expected to become a hub for ICL, its partners and its customers, as the company looks to make significant advancements in its battery materials R&D capabilities.

By working with its technology partners, ICL has developed know-how that will allow it to reduce cycle time by 50% and also provide for a significant reduction in power requirements in the production of lithium iron phosphate (LFP). Advancements like these are expected to be amplified, once the CIQC is operational, and the center is expected to be online prior to the company’s 140,000-square-foot LFP battery materials facility, which is expected to produce 30,000 metric tons of LFP annually. The design for the LFP plant has been completed and is currently undergoing a value engineering review to optimize both project costs and schedule, and this includes options for a more rapid, phased approach to production start-up.

The CIQC will allow ICL to accelerate its technology progress, while benefiting ICL battery materials customers, as they look to innovate and advance their offerings. The company is well positioned for growth now that it has already secured its first customer agreement and is working on qualifying additional potential customers’ requirements. The first multi-year relationship calls for ICL to supply LFP battery materials for next-generation battery cell production to a customer in the United States. Beginning as early as 2025, this offtake agreement is for supply of up to 10,000 metric tons annually of LFP material, aimed to comply with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), and includes an option to grow the supply relationship.

Demand for U.S. sourced LFP batteries is expected to continue to outstrip capacity, given recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Treasury (USDT) on foreign entity of concern (FEOC) participation and qualification of section 30D clean vehicle tax credit for consumers. The guidance from the DOE limits the participation of FEOCs in the domestic battery supply chain and supports the growth of domestic battery materials processing and manufacturing.

In addition, the USDT and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued proposed guidance on section 45X advanced manufacturing production credit to incentivize the production of eligible battery materials components within the U.S. and strengthen America’s energy security, while incentivizing onshoring of clean energy components. ICL believes its ability to benefit from both of these proposals further strengthens the company’s business case and cements its position as the first mover in the LFP battery materials market in the U.S.

“ICL is pleased with the progress we have made with our battery materials business in 2023, and we look forward to meeting growing demand from the energy storage, EV and clean-energy industries for domestically-produced-and-sourced essential battery materials, through our investment in the first large-scale LFP battery materials manufacturing plant in the U.S. and through our customer innovation and qualification center,” said Phil Brown, president of the Phosphate Specialties and managing director of North America for ICL.

“The North American LFP market is expected to see growth exceeding 40% annually until 2030, driven almost evenly by stationary energy storage and automotive electrification. LFP is the core lithium-ion battery cathode material used in stationary storage applications, which are expected to boom in response to the IRA tax credits that can reduce lithium-ion storage system costs by up to 60%,” said Jonathon Wright, partner at Roland Berger. “Across applications, LFP has significant cost, safety and raw material availability advantages compared to the mainstream nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) technologies, with major automotive OEMs recently announcing a shift toward LFP from NMC.”

About ICL

ICL Group is a leading global specialty minerals company, which creates impactful solutions for humanity's sustainability challenges in the food, agriculture and industrial markets. ICL leverages its unique bromine, potash and phosphate resources, its global professional workforce, and its sustainability focused R&D and technological innovation capabilities, to drive the company's growth across its end markets. ICL shares are dual listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (NYSE and TASE: ICL). The company employs more than 12,500 people worldwide, and its 2022 revenue totaled approximately $10 billion.

For more information, visit ICL's website at icl-group.com.

To access ICL's interactive CSR report, visit icl-group-sustainability.com.

You can also learn more about ICL on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Forward Looking Statements

This announcement contains statements that constitute forward‑looking statements, many of which can be identified by the use of forward‑looking words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “expect,” “should,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate” and “potential,” among others.

Forward-looking statements appear in this press release and include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the company’s intent, belief or current expectations. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to management. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements due to various factors, including, but not limited to: estimates, forecasts and statements as to management's expectations with respect to, among other things, business and financial prospects, financial multiples and accretion estimates, future trends, plans, strategies, positioning, objectives and expectations, general economic, market and business conditions, supply chain and logistics disruptions, energy storage and electric vehicle growth, the potential for new COVID-19 variants, global unrest and conflict, governmental and regulatory requirements and actions by governmental authorities, including changes in government policy, changes in environmental, tax and other laws or regulations and the interpretation thereof. As a result of the foregoing, readers should not place undue reliance on the forward‐looking statements contained in this press release concerning the timing of the transaction, or other more specific risks and uncertainties facing ICL, such as those set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of its Annual Report on Form 20-F filed on February 23, 2022, as such risk factors may be updated from time to time in its Current Reports on Form 6-K and other filings ICL makes with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.

Forward-looking statements refer only to the date they are made, and the company does not undertake any obligation to update them in light of new information or future developments or to publicly release any revisions to these statements in order to reflect later events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Investor and Press Contact – Global
Peggy Reilly Tharp
VP, Global Investor Relations
+1-314-983-7665
Peggy.ReillyTharp@icl-group.com

Investor and Press Contact - Israel
Adi Bajayo
ICL Spokesperson
+972-3-6844459
Adi.Bajayo@icl-group.com

Source: ICL Group LTD

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