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SK Innovation ‘in battery venture talks with VW, China’

Fri, 04/12/2019 - 12:54 -- Hugh Finzel

South Korea’s SK Innovation (SKI) is reportedly in talks to establish two separate battery production joint ventures— one with Volkswagen and another with Chinese partners.

SKI confirmed talks with Volkswagen in an interview with Reuters, saying the two companies were discussing building a factory together. SKI also said I was “on the cusp” of agreeing plans to build a plant in China with “undisclosed partners”.

The president of SKI’s batteries business YS Yoon told Reuters: “Our strategy is to keep up with technological advancement by having relationships with some of our key customers. Compared with rivals, we’ve been matching or exceeding investment in the (EV batteries) area since last year.”

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Saft to ‘expand lithium’ with Chinese lead group Tianneng

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 09:51 -- Hugh Finzel
Patrick Pouyanné

France’s Saft and Chinese lead-acid battery group Tianneng Energy Technology have formed a joint venture (JV) to expand lithium-ion manufacturing and “scale up its e-mobility and energy storage businesses”.

The JV will “primarily focus on the development, manufacturing and sales of advanced lithium-ion cells, modules and packs”. Production will be based at Tianneng’s Changxing factory, with a potential annual manufacturing capacity of 5.5GWh.

“This is a first strategic move driven by Total, following its acquisition of Saft in 2016,” said Patrick Poyanné, CEO of Total, the French battery manufacturer’s parent company. “The JV will allow Saft to join forces with a Chinese partner, a world leading lead-acid battery manufacturer, willing to develop its lithium-ion activities.

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UK and China launch virtual energy research centre

Thu, 03/28/2019 - 15:31 -- John Shepherd
Professor Nigel Brandon, Dean of Engineering at ICL (left) & Qikun Xue, VP for Research at Tsinghua

Imperial College London (ICL) and Tsinghua University are launching a virtual centre to collaborate on pioneering research into advanced energy systems.

The universities have agreed to jointly study “next-generation technologies and intelligent control strategies” towards low-carbon power and energy systems.

The centre will be the latest collaboration between the two universities, which have previously worked together on research projects including ‘the role of energy storage in enhancing operation and stability performance of sustainable power systems’.

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Leoch sets sights on Europe as new Asian battery plants start up

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 09:53 -- John Shepherd

Leoch International Technology is to bring two new lead-acid battery plants on stream this year in Vietnam— and has revealed plans to expand in Europe including through acquisitions.

The Hong Kong-listed firm said one of its Vietnam plants will start delivering reserve power batteries by mid-2019, while the other will be delivering SLI batteries by the end of the third quarter.

Construction of both plants is “in full gear”, Leoch said in a Hong Kong Stock Exchange announcement. “The design production capacity of these two factories will be more than double the current total overseas production capacity with opportunity for future expansion.”

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SK Innovation starts work on US battery factory

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 12:58 -- John Shepherd
Artist's impression of SK Innovation's EV plant

SK Innovation has broken ground on a US$1.1 billion electric vehicle batteries production plant in the US state of Georgia.

The South Korean group said the plant would have an annual production capacity of around 60 gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries annually by 2022— when full production is slated to start.

SK Group vice-chairman Choi Jae-Won said the facility— being built on a 278-acre site in Commerce City— would be completed in the second half of 2021 and help to strengthen Korean-US economic cooperation.

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Asahi Kasei to expand LIB separator manufacturing

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 14:22 -- Hugh Finzel
Asahi Kasei Hipore Li-ion battery separators

Japanese tech group Asahi Kasei will invest 30 billion yen (US$271 million) to expand its manufacturing capacity for lithium-ion battery separators, in response to “booming global demand in the battery market”.

Asahi Kasei will use the funds to increase production capacity by an additional 450 million square metres a year, taking the total capacity to 1.55 billion sq m, well beyond its target— stated in January 2018— of 1.1bn sq m by 2020.

The current 450m sq m expansion is scheduled for completion in mid 2021 across two factory sites— Moriyama in Japan and North Carolina in the US.

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Indian government unveils ‘battery mission’

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 15:28 -- Hugh Finzel
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

The Indian government has approved a ‘National Mission on Transformative Mobility and Battery Storage’ that aims to transform mobility in India.

The move will see the introduction of a “sustainable mobility ecosystem” and push ahead with the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme to boost domestic manufacturing”.

Under the initiative— approved by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s (pictured) cabinet— two phased manufacturing programmes (PMPs) will be established and will be valid for five years, up until 2024.

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Investment deal signed for batteries and EVs plant in Andhra Pradesh

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 11:52 -- John Shepherd
J. Krishna Kishore (left) signs the MOU with Urja Global’s director and chief financial officer Avinash Kumar Agarwal.

Indian Renewables developer Urja Global is investing the equivalent of US$28 million to build a combined electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Urja’s has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) to build the facility in one of three shortlisted cities— Anantapur, Nellore, and Chittoor.

The APEDB said the plant will produce “high technology lithium-ion Batteries and EVs for the electric mobility ecosystem”.

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Gravita expands to boost feed lead recycling operations

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Indian lead producer and exporter Gravita has revealed proposals to open nine new lead battery scrap sourcing centres in Africa— to feed its expanding recycling operations on the continent and boost the group’s bottom line.

The move comes just weeks after Gravita said it was expanding its lead-acid battery scrap processing operations overseas with two new facilities in Africa— in Ghana and Tanzania.

Gravita has now received relevant licences to run both African facilities, which are expected to start up this month.

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Daramic expands production at sites in Asia

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

US-based lead-acid separator manufacturer Daramic has announced the opening of new polyethylene battery separator production lines in China and Thailand, to “support the growing demand” of customers primarily in Asia.

The introduction of one additional manufacturing line in Tianjin, China will double the company’s capacity at the location, while the new manufacturing line in Prachinburi, Thailand will increase capacity at the location by 20%.

As well as meeting Asian demand, the expansions will enable Daramic to balance operations globally in order to supply customers regionally, meaning that capacity that was previously “utilised to meet Asia demand can now be diverted to support customers in other global regions”.

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