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New BEST Recruitment Club energises battery jobs market

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 11:02 -- Hugh Finzel

As a wave of investment in the advanced battery industry globally promises to spur the creation of thousands of jobs in the new year and beyond, today sees the launch of a new service from Energy Storage Publishing— BEST Recruitment Club— aimed at supercharging professionals’ search for jobs in the batteries sector.

“BEST Recruitment Club is a new service coming at a crucial time for the energy sector as companies gear up to recruit the professionals they will need to research, design, build and operate the battery systems of the future,” said BEST Battery Briefing editor-in-chief John Shepherd.

To find your new position, click on the BEST Recruitment Club link here.

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Study slams EU on lithium recycling and praises 'climate-friendly' lead

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

More than half of Europe’s used batteries “disappear” without proper treatment because of “outdated” recycling rules and inadequate targets for collecting lithium-ion batteries, according to a damning report.

The study criticises the European Union’s Batteries Directive for lacking “a target or provisions for a monitoring system” to keep track of uncollected batteries— which are said to be fuelling health and safety fears by being dumped with household waste.

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LG Chem starts work on second China battery plant

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
LG Chem ground breaking ceremony

South Korean lithium-ion battery firm LG Chem has broken ground for its second electric vehicle battery factory in China.

LG Chem said the facility, first mooted earlier this year, would be built in stages up to 2030 in the Nanjing economic development zone, in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, at a total cost of KRW 2.1 trillion (US$1.8 billion).

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BASF to build battery materials plant in Finland

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

German chemical company BASF is to build a battery materials production plant— its first serving the European automotive market— in Harjavalta, Finland.

The plant will be built adjacent to a nickel and cobalt refinery owned by Russian mining firm Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel), as part of BASF’s €400 million (US$456.2m) multi-step investment plan to supply European battery cell manufacturers with regionally-manufactured cathode materials.

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Caterpillar invests in Fisker for solid-state battery tech.

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

The Caterpillar engineering group’s investment arm, Caterpillar Venture Capital (CVC), has invested an undisclosed sum in Fisker— a Californian electric vehicle start-up that is developing solid-state battery technology.

Fisker told BEST Battery Briefing details of the deal were being kept under wraps. However, a spokesperson said the investment, involving “fundamentally different industries”, demonstrated the “mutually recognised importance that electrification solutions will represent to multiple business segments in the future”.

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UK’s Moixa expands smart battery tech in Japan

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

UK-based residential energy storage firm Moixa has rolled out its GridShare smart battery technology platform to 3,500 homes in Japan.

The move comes just eight months after Moixa agreed to export its battery tech to Japan— under a signed a partnership agreement with the country’s Itochu trading house.

Moixa’s roll-out announcement was made at the British embassy in Tokyo, where the company also launched a GridShare off-peak ‘smart tariff’ for residential battery owners.

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Monbat drops plans to acquire control of Assad

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd
Assad battery

Bulgarian lead-acid battery manufacturer Monbat has dropped plans to buy a majority stake in Tunisian lead firm Assad.

The decision to scrap the deal, announced last year, came amid reports of an alleged pending legal case concerning the land on which Assad built its production plant— and concern that Monbat would be unable to retain control of an Assad subsidiary in Algeria because of proceedings in that country.

Monbat declined to comment in detail, but a spokesperson said: “In the course of the final stage of the due diligence of L’accumulateur Tunisiene Assad, there were subsequent matters disclosed which are challenging the originally expected value creation and are increasing Monbat’s level of enterprise risk.”

Other projects being financed by Monbat’s recent corporate bond issue are under way and an update will be issued to investors in due course, the Sofia-based company said in a filing with Bulgaria’s Financial Supervision Commission.

Monbat said it would “sustain its investment selectivity and focus on those business projects in the current pipeline, which provide the best match between return and operational risk”.

Assad, founded in 1974, designs, manufacturers, distributes and recycles lead-acid batteries for applications, including automotive, marine, solar, industry and telecoms.

Assad has reported a combined annual production capacity of 1.2 million batteries. The firm’s recycling arm was launched in 2002 to recycle around 10,000 tons of used batteries from the Tunisian market each year.

Monbat was founded in 1959, privatised in 1998 and is now a leading European battery producer. The company has production and recycling plants in three countries and exports worldwide.

The full story is only available in our FREE weekly industry newsletter, so sign-up to get it delivered to your inbox every Monday.

Monbat drops plans to acquire control of Assad

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- John Shepherd

Bulgarian lead-acid battery manufacturer Monbat has dropped plans to buy a majority stake in Tunisian lead firm Assad.

The decision to scrap the deal, announced last year, came amid reports of an alleged pending legal case concerning the land on which Assad built its production plant— and concern that Monbat would be unable to retain control of an Assad subsidiary in Algeria because of proceedings in that country.

Monbat declined to comment in detail, but a spokesperson said: “In the course of the final stage of the due diligence of L’accumulateur Tunisiene Assad, there were subsequent matters disclosed which are challenging the originally expected value creation and are increasing Monbat’s level of enterprise risk.”

The full story is only available in our FREE weekly industry newsletter, so sign-up to get it delivered to your inbox every Monday.

Lithium Werks in China giga-investment deal

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

Dutch lithium-ion battery producer Lithium Werks BV has signed a framework agreement to build a 60-hectare battery gigafactory in China’s Yangtze River Delta.

The agreement for the €1.6 billion (US$1.85bn) factory to produce cells for lithium-ion batteries was signed with the Zhejiang Jiashan Economic Development Zone Industry Corporation.

“With our Chinese partners’ help, and as we continue to grow both organically and through acquisitions, we will deliver the energy storage solutions that our customers increasingly ask for as the world transitions to clean energy,” said Lithium Werks chairman Kees Koolen (pictured centre).

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Toshiba expands ‘ahead of demand’ for SCiB batteries

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
Toshiba SCiB

The social infrastructure arm of the Toshiba Group is to invest JPY16.2 billion (US$144.5m) to ramp up production of its SCiB rechargeable lithium-ion batteries by building an additional production facility.

The three-storey 27,000 sq. m facility, to be built at Toshiba Infrastructure Systems and Solutions’ (TISS) Yokohama complex, will also serve as a ‘production technology development centre’.

Toshiba said this would allow the firm “to respond positively to potential future expansion of the lithium-ion battery unit”.

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