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Navitas to expand production in Michigan

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 12:09 -- Hugh Finzel
Navitas Starlifter battery

US battery firm Navitas is expanding production of its Starlifter line of lithium-ion forklift batteries from a new manufacturing facility in Michigan.

Navitas has secured a 100,000 sq ft building to boost production by an additional 5,000 systems annually, in line with the company’s reported “almost 200% year-over-year growth in revenues”.  

The new facility is near Navitas’ existing 48,000 sq ft R&D and manufacturing facility in Ann Arbor.

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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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SK Innovation building Polish battery plant

Fri, 03/29/2019 - 10:42 -- Hugh Finzel

SK Innovation is to start work on a factory in Poland to manufacture lithium-ion battery separators (LiBS) and ceramic coated separators (CCS) for electric vehicle batteries in Europe.

The South Korean group will break ground on the plant site in Województwo Śląskie in southern Poland in the third quarter of 2019— and expects to begin mass production in the third quarter of 2021.

SK Innovation intends to invest €335 million (US$378m) to realise four LiBS production units and three CCS production units on the 270,000 square metre site.

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Powin secures lithium cells supply deal with CATL

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 12:09 -- Hugh Finzel

US-based battery storage firm Powin has secured a 1.85GWh supply pipeline of lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cells from Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Limited (CATL).

CATL will supply the cells into 2022 for Powin’s Stack modular battery energy storage systems, which are utilised in various utility scale, commercial, and industrial battery energy storage systems— “including the largest batteries in both Canada and Mexico”.

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Metair boosts profit on back of strong battery operations

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 12:08 -- John Shepherd
Metair MD Theo Loock

South Africa-based automotive and energy storage group Metair Investments has posted increased operating profit for 2018— boosted by its lead-acid operations in Turkey and Romania.

Metair said group operating profit for the year ended 31 December 2018 increased by 19% to just over ZAR1 billion (US$69 million) compared to the previous year. Revenue for 2018 was ZAR10.28bn, an increase of 8% compared to 2017.

Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 9.4% to ZAR1.33bn.

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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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Johnson Matthey inks LFP cathode deal with Lithium Werks

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

UK-based chemicals company Johnson Matthey (JM) has signed a long-term agreement to supply battery cathode material to Dutch lithium-ion producer, Lithium Werks (LW).

Under the agreement— which will run for five years, commencing 1 April 2019— JM will supply lithium iron phosphate (LFP) material manufactured at its Changzhou, China facility.

In September 2018, JM sold its automotive battery business to US-based Cummins, allowing the company to focus on “developing commercial battery materials for the full range of transport applications”.

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Macron raises alarm on European battery dependence

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel

France will invest €700 million (US$788.8 million) over the next five years to boost the European battery industry and reduce reliance on Asian battery makers, President Emmanuel Macron has said.

Speaking to the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers in Paris, Macron said that Europe needs a “wake-up call” on batteries, referencing the threat of external dependence for an increasingly vital resource in an era of international trade wars.

“In terms of sovereignty and independence, I think it’s not good in the long run for our industry to be 100 per cent reliant on non-Europeans,” Macron was quoted by Reuters as saying.

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Canada Rolls out expansion funding for lead-acid

Mon, 02/11/2019 - 00:00 -- Hugh Finzel
James Surrette (right) with local MP Bill Casey

Canadian deep cycle lead-acid battery maker Surrette is expanding its production facility in Nova Scotia, to “boost its global competitiveness and spur business growth”.

The 25,000 sq. ft. expansion to the Surrette Battery Company’s Springhill plant will be accompanied by the incorporation of “advanced robotics and automation” at its production facility.

Contrary to many wider fears of the undesirable effects of automation, Surrette’s actions will cause them to hire an additional 18 “highly-skilled workers”, taking their total roll-call to 100.

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