FRANKFURT, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Germany's BASF BASFn.DE will likely pick Germany as the site for its next plant to produce chemicals for batteries used in electric cars, the group's CEO told Manager Magazin.
BASF is building a factory to make cathode materials for batteries in Harjavalta, Finland, close to a nickel and cobalt refinery of raw materials partner Norilsk Nickel GMKN.MM.
This is part of a larger 400 million euro ($445 million) investment plan to serve the European market for batteries that go into electric and hybrid vehicles.
BASF has said it was assessing several European locations for follow-up investments, including Schwarzheide in eastern Germany, under that plan.
"We will likely erect the second production step in the value chain ... in Germany, but this decision has not been taken yet," Chief Executive Martin Brudermueller told the monthly magazine in an interview published on Thursday.
He also said that BASF expects the overall market for cathode materials to be worth between 25 billion euros and 30 billion by 2025.
BASF is competing with Europe's Umicore UMI.BR and Johnson Matthey JMAT.L as well as with a range of Chinese suppliers including Beijing Easpring 300073.SZ and Ningbo Shanshan 600884.SS.
Earlier on Thursday, Brudermueller said on a conference call on third-quarter earnings that the company would publish further details on its battery chemical investment plans in Europe later this year or early 2020.
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(Reporting by Ludwig Burger Editing by David Holmes)
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